XPS of zirconium is typically performed on the Zr 3d region, which consists of a standard doublet with a separation of 2.4 eV (Figure 1). This region may overlap with Ba 4p, Br 3p, Ge 3s photoemissions, as well as with the Se LMM auger. High oxidation state Zr (e.g. ZrO2) may also overlap with I 4s and B 1s photoemissions (although both a relatively weak emissions) as well as the stronger P 2p. The Zr 3d5/2 peak should provide sufficient data for peak fitting of Zr phosphates however.

Figure 1: XPS spectrum of Zr metal(1)

Some common binding energies of zirconium species may be found in table 1.

Species Binding energy / eV Charge ref Ref
Zr metal 178.9 Au 4f (83.95 eV) 1
ZrO2 182.3 C 1s (285 eV) 2
Table 1: Zr binding energies


  1. Data acquired by HarwellXPS
  2. Barreca, D., et al. (2000). “Zirconium dioxide thin films characterized by XPS.” Surface Science Spectra 7(4): 303-309. Read it online here.