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This article provides information on the chemical characterization of surfaces by Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). It describes the basic theory behind each of these techniques, the types of data produced from each, and some typical applications. The article explains the strengths of AES, XPS, and TOF-SIMS based on data obtained from the surface of a slightly corroded stainless steel sheet.

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