Heterogeneous Catalysis of Metal Oxide and Metal Sulphide Surfaces: Gas-solid and solid-solid chemical reactions of several oxide and sulphide systems are being studied to understand abstraction processes leading to the surface decomposition of water or organic molecules such as thiophene or methane. Such reactions are important to industrial processes such as hydrodesulphurization and oxidative coupling. The reactions are usually studied on polycrystalline thin film oxides characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS or ESCA), scanning Auger microscopy (SAM) and Raman microprobe.
Oxidation Processes on Metal and Alloy Surfaces: The growth mechanisms of thin oxide films on polycrystalline surfaces are studied using microscopic surface techniques. Recent studies involve alloys of nickel, magnesium and zirconium.
Surface Analytical Chemistry: Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is being developed as a microanalytical technique capable of analyzing solids to give a three-dimensional elemental distribution. Problems of preferential sputtering, matrix correction and volume representation need to be addressed through a combination of computer software development and chemical experimentation.
"Analysis of three-dimensional SIMS images using image cross-correlation spectroscopy". M. Srivastava, N.O. Petersen, G.R. Mount, D.M. Kingston and N.S. McIntyre, Surface and Interface Analysis, 26, 188 (1998).
"Quantitative SIMS analysis of trace Au in pyrite using the infinite velocity (IV) method". A.R. Pratt, C.M. Huctwith, P.A.W. van der Heide, and N.S. McIntyre, Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 60, 241 (1998).
Deconvolution of pyrite, marcasite and arsenopyrite XPS spectra using the maximum entropy method". A.R. Pratt, N.S. McIntyre and S.J. Splinter, Surface Science, 396, 266 (1998).
"Resolution enhancement of X-ray photoelectron spectra by maximum entropy deconvolution". S.J. Splinter and N.S. McIntyre, Surface and Interface Analysis, 26, 195 (1998).
"The aging of silicate glass surfaces in humid air". M.M. Curtin Carter, N. Stewart McIntyre, H.W. King and A.R. Pratt, Journal of Non-crystalline Solids, 220, 127 (1997).
"SIMS image analysis of D2O migration in ZrO2 thin films". A.H. Clarke and N.S. McIntyre, Surface and Interface Analysis, 25 848 (1997).