This document provides a description of methods by which the coating thickness and chemical composition of "core-shell" nanoparticles (including some variant and non-ideal morphologies) can be determined using electron spectroscopy techniques. It identifies the assumptions, challenges, and uncertainties associated with each method. It also describes protocols and issues for the general analysis of nanoparticle samples using electron spectroscopies, specifically in relation to their importance for measurements of coating thicknesses.
This document focuses on the use of electron spectroscopy techniques, specifically X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger electron spectroscopy, and synchrotron-based methods. These cannot provide all of the information necessary for accurate analysis and therefore some additional analytical methods are outlined in the context of their ability to aid in the interpretation of electron spectroscopy data.