Covalent Metrology Installs Advanced Surface Analysis Instrument from Thermo Scientific

Nexsa XPS includes UPS and ISS modules; offers precise chemical mapping and the latest automation software


June 4, 2020 – Sunnyvale, CA. Covalent Metrology is pleased to announce the installation of a new Thermo Scientific Nexsa X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) System at our Sunnyvale, CA headquarters. This system, available now, expands the Covalent service offerings to include two new surface characterization techniques: ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and ion-scattering spectroscopy (ISS), and allows more precise, advanced analyses with XPS.

Nexsa XPS Covalent Metrology

Chris Moore, VP of Technology at Covalent, comments: Our new, state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific Nexsa gives us access to capabilities that are unique in our industry. The combination of XPS, UPS and ISS technologies, an upgraded charge mitigation system, along with faster measurement and analysis software allow us to solve customer problems that would not have been doable with older generation systems.” Covalent will be one of only a handful of service labs worldwide to operate a Nexsa system.


Surface chemical analysis is critical both in product development and manufacturing optimization for industries ranging from microelectronics to pharmaceuticals. XPS has long been one of the best techniques for such analysis. It is quantitative, acutely surface specific, and can assess oxidation states, chemical bonding environments, electronic properties, and more. UPS and ISS are newer techniques which provide complementary measurements of surface potential and valence band properties, as well as chemical composition of the outermost atomic monolayer (respectively). All 3 can now be executed in correlative analysis to more holistically evaluate the surface properties of your material.


Beyond its adaptability and cutting-edge integration of the 3 techniques, the Nexsa also resolves several limitations of past XPS instrumentation. Most significantly, its newly designed source, detector, and automation systems enable total-area maps in minutes with a lateral resolution down to 10 µm, without sacrificing meaningful chemical sensitivity.


Interested in learning more about surface spectroscopy, or the Nexsa system?

Join us next week on Covalent Academy! Dr. Roland Barbosa, the Director of Surface Characterization at Covalent Metrology, will be instructing a talk exploring key ideas and practical applications of XPS, UPS, and ISS. Click below to learn more about the upcoming webinar event:



About Covalent Metrology

Covalent Metrology is a disruptive analytical services lab and platform based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies who use advanced materials to get better data and insight about key research, development and production programs faster, more easily and less expensively. Covalent is dramatically changing the characterization and imaging landscape by combining innovative pricing, data platforms and top-notch customer service with world-class scientists, state-of-art tools, and strategic partnerships. Covalent has nearly 300 customers in 20+ industries.

For further information, contact:

Warren Wong
Covalent Metrology Marketing
+1 408-498-4611

Asylum Research and Covalent Metrology Collaborate to Promote Industrial Applications of Advanced Atomic Force Microscopy

Partnership Includes Providing Services to Leading Edge Biotech Researchers.

May 13, 2020 Santa Barbara, CA and Sunnyvale, CA /PRNewswire. Oxford Instruments Asylum Research and Covalent Metrology announced today that the two companies have signed a joint collaboration aimed at further developing and promoting commercial applications for several advanced modes of atomic force microscopy (AFM).

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research designs and manufactures state-of-the-art AFMs for both academic and industrial applications. Scientists at Asylum Research have been on the forefront of leading AFM applications in biology and materials science and have developed a number of unique nanoelectrical and nanomechanical characterization techniques. Advanced modes of AFM can contribute significant understanding of materials and devices being developed by engineers across a range of industries.

Covalent Metrology is a rapidly growing metrology and characterization company that delivers analytical services with a diverse platform. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley and offers a range of sample measurements services alongside consulting solutions that empower customers to solve challenging technical problems across the United States.

The collaboration will focus on nanoelectrical and nanomechanical characterization of materials with an emphasis on the following areas:

Biological Measurements:

    1. Structural and nanomechanical measurements on biological samples including cells, proteins, bacteria, DNA, RNA, lipids.

Nanoelectrical measurements:

    1. Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) — functional measurements of electromechanical coupling of ferroelectric and piezoelectric materials
    2. Conductive AFM (CAFM) — nanoscale current measurements and conductivity measurements
    3. Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM) — dopant profiling capacitance vs. voltage measurements, impedence mapping

Nanomechanical measurements:

    1. Stiffness / modulus mapping in the kPa to GPa regime
    2. Viscoelastic mapping including loss tangent on polymers
    3. Indentation measurements on thin films and soft samples

“AFM is such a powerful technique for understanding a range of materials characteristics and devices. We are pleased to partner with Covalent, a dynamic analytical service lab, to continue to expand the range of AFM applications into the industrial market segment,” stated Andrew Masters, Global VP of Sales and Marketing at Oxford Instruments Asylum Research.

Craig Hunter, CEO of Covalent, stated, “Asylum Research has been providing cutting edge AFM instruments for over 20 years.  We are extremely excited to partner with them to proselytize the value of these advanced AFM techniques. And we are particularly excited to be the first analytical services company offering advanced AFM on biological samples.”

To read the full PR Newswire article, click here.

About Oxford Instruments Asylum Research 

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force microscopy for both materials and bioscience research. Asylum Research AFMs are widely used by both academic and industrial researchers for characterizing samples from diverse fields spanning material science, polymers, thin films, energy research, and biophysics. In addition to routine imaging of sample topography and roughness, Asylum Research AFMs also offer unmatched resolution and quantitative measurement capability for nanoelectrical, nanomechanical and electromechanical characterization. Recent advances have made these measurements far simpler and more automated for increased consistency and productivity. Its Cypher™, MFP-3D™, and Jupiter™ AFM product lines span a wide range of performance and budgets.

Asylum Research also offers a comprehensive selection of AFM probes, accessories, and consumables. Sales, applications and service offices are located in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, France, India, China and Taiwan, with distributor offices in other global regions.

About Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments’ growth and success for 60 years, supporting its core purpose to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University, Oxford Instruments is now a global company and is listed on the FTSE250 index of the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its strategy focuses on being a customer-centric, market-focused Group, understanding the technical and commercial challenges faced by its customers. Key market segments include Semiconductor & Communications, Advanced Materials, Healthcare & Life Science, and Quantum Technology.

Their portfolio includes a range of core technologies in areas such as low temperature and high magnetic field environments; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; X-ray, electron, laser and optical based metrology; atomic force microscopy; optical imaging; and advanced growth, deposition and etching.

Oxford Instruments is helping enable a greener economy, increased connectivity, improved health and leaps in scientific understanding. Their advanced products and services allow the world’s leading industrial companies and scientific research communities to image, analyse and manipulate materials down to the atomic and molecular level, helping to accelerate R&D, increase manufacturing productivity and make ground-breaking discoveries.

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research, Inc., Registered office: 6310 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, CA,93117, United States. Registered in California 99-0383271. A subsidiary of Oxford Instruments plc.

For more information, contact:

Ben Ohler
Director of Marketing
Tel: 805-696-6466

Covalent Metrology Logo

About Covalent Metrology Services, Inc.

Covalent Metrology is a disruptive analytical services lab and platform based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies who use advanced materials to get better data and insight about key research, development and production programs faster, more easily and less expensively. Covalent is dramatically changing the characterization and imaging landscape by combining innovative pricing, data platforms and top-notch customer service with world-class scientists, state-of-art tools, and strategic partnerships. Covalent has nearly 300 customers in 20+ industries.

Find out more at:

For more information, contact:

Warren Wong
Covalent Metrology Marketing
Tel: 408.498.4611

Covalent Academy Episode #01

Covalent Academy Episode 01

April 1, 2020

Today, Covalent officially launched their new initiative Covalent Academy, as their commitment to bringing useful and educational content to the Covalent community.

The kick-off event was the first episode of their Webinar Series, featuring Spectroscopic Ellipsometry by Dr. Max Junda. The well-attended virtual event had over 320 attendees. The audience responded positively to the program, with over 98% of the poll participants indicating they will attend future Covalent Academy events. This webinar series will happen every Wednesday at 11 am PDT. Invitation to register for this weekly event will be sending out every Thursday. If you have any questions, please contact

Covalent Metrology Covid Update

June 19, 2020

Dear Valued Customer,

Covalent Metrology is open for business and performing characterization work on samples not limited to just Essential businesses.

The Covalent Team and facility are making every effort to be in compliance will all local, State, and Federal mandates and guidelines.

We are not allowing open access at this time, however, we are open for accepting sample drop-offs and receiving deliveries during normal business hours.

For any more questions regarding COVID safety protocols, please reach out to

If you have a sample needing characterization work, please reach out to our team at 408-498-4611 or email us here.

Wishing you the best,

-Team Covalent

🤩Strong Start to 2020! 💭

We’re hitting 2020 with a vengeance! Here are a few updates as we continue to scale our company to better serve you as your metrology partner.

Series A Funding Round Complete
We started the year closing our $8M Series A financing. The influx of new capital is helping expand our in-house instrument portfolio and analytical team, and is fueling additional investment in the Covalent Digital Platform to provide improved customer experience.
New Hires
We have added five new team members in the past 6 weeks and now have 30 people on staff. We will be introducing our team in the months ahead.
New Instruments In-House

We took possession of a gently used, extremely well-equipped Thermo Fisher Scios Dual-Beam FIB-SEM. This system has several outstanding features including both low and high vacuum chamber capability, high-resolution SEM imaging, a full suite of detectors including backscatter, in column, and ETD detectors, 30 keV STEM imaging with bright field(BF), dark-field (DF) and high angle annular dark-field (HAADF) detectors, EZ lift in-situ TEM lamella prep, C and Pt GIS capability multiple charge neutralization strategies for imaging and milling non-conductive materials. Also, it features 110mm stage travel accommodating 150mm samples, and XeF2 etching chemistry.

We acquired an additional Keyence VK-X1100 laser confocal microscope to expand capacity and achieve quicker response times for our valued customers. We have a comprehensive and well-equipped lab for high-resolution 3D topology generation using state of the art non-contact optical profilometry techniques that are suitable on almost any substrate.

Our acoustic microscopy partner, PVA-Tepla, installed a second system, the SAM 501 HD² to accommodate large components such as semiconductor heaters and chucks.

Stay tuned for more! We continue to bring in advanced instrumentation and will soon be updating you on exciting new capabilities arriving in the next three months.

New Covalent Car!
Covalent Metrology Car Prius

We’re coming to pick up your samples in the San Francisco Bay Area!

Ready to schedule your first pick up?

As always, you can get our latest updates by following us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Youtube.

Until next time,

Your Friends at Covalent