Department of Bioengineering
G42F Molecular Engineering & Science Building
University of Washington
Box 351653
Seattle, WA 98195-1653
Tel: 206-616-4173
Fax: 206-221-7451
What is SARC?

The Surface Analysis Recharge Center (SARC) is a state-of-the-art instrumentation facility located at the University of Washington. SARC operates under Washington State and Federal accounting guidelines for recharge centers. SARC instrumentation and staff expertise can be accessed by industrial and academic users.

What is SARC's Relationship to NESAC/BIO?
The National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems (NESAC/BIO) was first funded by the NIH in 1983 as a national instrumentation resource. In 1992, the NIH Study Section recommended that NESAC/BIO's instrumentation and expertise become a self-sustaining recharge center to make the equipment available to more users. Researchers, collaborators and service users (including NESAC/BIO itself) now purchase instrument time for their surface analysis experiments from SARC. SARC is the recharge center arm ("self-sustaining business entity") of the ongoing NESAC/BIO Research Program.

What Kind of Samples Can Be Analyzed by SARC? What kind of instrumentation is available at SARC?

Our facility is currently equipped with two ESCA systems and one SIMS system. The monochromatized ESCA systems, a Surface Science Instruments S-Probe and a new Kratos Axis Ultra DLD, permit high-resolution analysis in an area on a surface down to a spot size of ~ 25 μm. The information that can be obtained from ESCA analysis includes identification and quantification of all elements present on the surface (to a depth of approximately 100Å), information about the molecular bonding environment of those elements and, using special algorithms, distributions of components of interest into the surface (depth profile). This information can be obtained on most samples, since sample size or geometry (within limits) is not a critical concern except for angle-resolved depth profiling which requires a flat surface. These instruments are equipped to examine specimens in a hydrated (frozen) condition, if necessary. The Kratos Axis Ultra DLD system also has the capability to image samples with spatial resolutions down to approximately 10 microns. Complete computer interfacing permits flexibility in data output and analysis. The surface analysis laboratory also has space and equipment available for sample preparation.

The ION-TOF ToF-SIMS 5-100 provides high-resolution positive and negative mass spectra of the components present in the uppermost 10Å of a surface at spatial resolutions down to a micron. ToF-SIMS instruments can be operated in either the spectroscopic or imaging mode. The detailed molecular structure information obtained with static ToF-SIMS complements the ESCA information described in the previous paragraph. The high sensitivity of ToF-SIMS also makes it an excellent technique for analyzing trace surface components. In addition, the ION-TOF instrument is equipped with a cold stage to handle hydrated (frozen) samples as well as a C60 sputter source for destructive depth profiling and 3-D imaging.

ESCA and SIMS are valuable tools for addressing biomedical surface problems and advancing our state of knowledge about biological surfaces, interfaces, and biomaterials.

For more information about SARC see:
-Personnel: SARC Personnel
-Using SARC: How to access the SARC facility

Contact SARC: