About RBD Instruments

25 Years Serving the Materials & Surface Science Industries

RBD Instruments was founded in 1990 as a parts and service supplier for PHI (Perkin Elmer, Physical Electronics) Auger, XPS, and SIMS systems and components. Over the next 25 years, our company has become the world-wide leader in the development of software and hardware upgrade products for many legacy surface analysis systems.

Since then, RBD has gone on to produce innovative products for the high-vacuum and ultra high-vacuum industries. Our customers include world-leading research centers, universities, and manufacturers.

about us

Our customers include: 3M · Argonne National Labs · Boeing · Brookhaven National Lab · Caltech · Carnegie Mellon University · CERN · DOW Chemical · Harvard University · Johns Hopkins University · Lawrence Berkeley National Labs · Lockheed Martin · Los Alamos · Max Plank Institute · Medtronic · MIT · Motorola · NASA · NIST · Northrop Grumman · NREL· Oakridge National Labs · Sandia National Labs · Stanford University · Yale University


RBD's philosophy has been to design products that solve problems not always addressed by other companies. From water vapor desorption systems to complete compact Auger analysis systems, RBD's diverse selection of products and services provides our customers with solutions unique to the industry.


Auger Electron Spectrometers

RBD has been a leader in servicing and upgrading Auger systems since it's inception. We've now taken those years of experience and developed our first Auger analysis system.

microCMA: Compact Cylindrical Mirror Analyzer

A leap forward in affordable Auger electron spectroscopy, the microCMA is a complete quantitative surface sensitive elemental Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) analyzer package that mounts on a 2.75 in. / 70 mm CF flange.
The microCMA package is now available, complete with a state-of-the-art USB controller and data acquisition and analysis software.


Water Vapor Desorption

Water vapor poses a serious problem for all vacuum systems, and we at RBD recognize the importance of reducing the down-time associated with bake-outs and improving the quality of vacuum in between. RBD has a full line of water vapor desorption products to address those needs.

Remove water vapor from a vacuum chamber w/o heat using UVC radiation provided by our line of UVC desorption products suited for virtually any chamber:

UVB-100 · mini Z


Or for systems that can take the heat, our IRB series provides a simple and cost effective solution:



Ion Guns

RBD has been providing low-cost, reliable sputtering systems for over a decade. The IG2 is now a global industry leader for low-cost 2 kV sputtering.

IG2 (2 kV)

The IG2 sputter ion source package is the perfect solution for low cost ion beam etching and sputter cleaning of specimens for surface analysis, cleaning STM tips, general vacuum science and nano technology applications.


For more specialized ion sputtering solutions:

3 kV Large Area · High-Performance



Test and Measurement

Designed at the request of many customers desiring a combination picoammeter and target bias supply, the 9103 Picoammeter has a wide range of suitability outside of surface science. It's one of the only programmable USB picoammeters available.


Accurately measure electron and ion current, with data logging and graphing software included, and the ability to program and interface to lab control and analysis software.

9103 USB Picoammeter


Legacy Products and Services

RBD is still a premier provider of service, parts, support, and upgrades for legacy PHI /Physical Electronics / Perkin Elmer Auger, XPS and SIMS systems. We've built a reputation for unparalleled support, and our AugerScan and AugerMap PC upgrades for these systems are now the industry standard.

RBD is also a leading supplier of refurbished PHI systems and components. These systems and components are especially suited to labs and facilities where budget is a concern; modern hardware interfaces and replacement parts have extended the lifetime of these products well beyond expectation.


PHI Service, Parts, and Components

RBD provides in-house repair and field service, as well as a full inventory of parts and components for many of PHI's workhorse Auger, XPS, and SIMS systems.

Service · Replacement Parts

PHI Refurbished Systems and Components

Most of our refurbished systems are warrantied, and available with training and installation. We're also a leading supplier of refurbished components such as controllers and optics.

Refurbished Systems, Electronics, and Optics


An Industry Leader...

You'll find RBD at many of the leading trade shows and exhibitions, including the annual AVS Symposium and Exhibition.

RBD's TechSpot Blog is an extensive and up-to-date source of information for a wide variety of technical tips, troubleshooting and repair advice, and application notes not only for our products, but for PHI and other manufacturer's products.


  • "I want to let you know that we (all surface scientists/physical chemists in our lab) all love RBD, and you're the first place we look when we need surface analysis equipment."

    Sean Edington (Princeton University's Chemistry Department, Frick Laboratory)

  • "It is clear to me that RBD Instruments is one of those companies that wasn't simply started to make a lot of money. Its goal was to provide service and assistance, and to raise the level of expectations of the surface science community, and continuously improve and enhance the end user's ability to get results, and at the same time improve their knowledge and make it easier for them to help themselves.
    RBD Instruments is as much a provider of free information and knowledge as it is a revenue seeking operation, and that kind of integrity is rare in the current dog-eat-dog economy."

    Steve Buckingham (Technologist - Analytical Chemist, Novelis Global Research & Technology Center)

  • "I received the new solenoid today at noon. I did have time to swap it out and check it. SUCCESS!! Thanks for your timely help with this issue. I have changed samples successfully. Tomorrow I will put the instrument through it's paces..."
    "...As always, it's a pleasure doing business with RBD - your expertise is invaluable to we users out here in the field. Thanks again."

    Jerry Kallay (Quality Engineer, Arcelor/Mittal Weirton)

  • "Since joining the Chemistry Department at Johns Hopkins University in 1997 I have used RBD as my sole source of surface analytical equipment. This includes several Phi XPS and AES systems, all of which remain fully operational. Over the years RBD has continued to sell a wide range of high quality, refurbished surface analytical instruments at extremely competitive pricing. This resale capability has been complemented by prompt and efficient instrument repair and troubleshooting capabilities. Their combination of technical and service skills mean that RBD is unique as a company in terms of its ability to help maintain the research productivity of surface scientists working on limited budgets, and I recommend them to colleagues without hesitation."

    Howard Fairbrother (Professor of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University)

  • "I have gotten first class service from RBD Instruments, the people are friendly , helpful, and very knowledgeable. I have gotten parts overnight when I was down, I have gotten stellar technical help on what to look for or measure when determining what needed to be repaired or replaced. Randy is an encyclopedia of information and always ready to help me keep my system running. I would recommend RBD Instruments without reservation to anyone needing help or parts for their system."

    Brian Halawith (Manufacturing Engineering Manager L3 Communications - EOS)

  • "Thanks so much for the great customer service. This is one of the
    best experiences I've ever had with a company's tech support."

    Mike Ziemkiewicz ( JILA, University of Colorado at Boulder)

  • "RBD's service is the best in the business - and I have a lot of service providers."
    James W. McEwen (Manager, Business Development, Oneida Research Services, Inc.).

Contact us here for more information on products and services.

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