Physical Electronics (PHI) was formed in 1969 as a spin-off from the University of Minnesota. The research performed by Roland Weber, Paul Palmberg, and their advisor Bill Peria revealed the extreme surface sensitivity of Auger electron spectroscopy and led to the development of the first commercial Auger surface analysis instruments and the formation of Physical Electronics. As PHI grew, emerging technologies expanded PHI from an “Auger” company to a surface analysis equipment supplier with high performance XPS, D-SIMS, and TOF-SIMS instruments added to our product line.

A relationship was established with the ULVAC Corporation in 1971. This relationship led to the formation of ULVAC-PHI in 1982 as a joint venture to market and support PHI’s surface analysis products in Japan. In 2003 ULVAC-PHI purchased Physical Electronics bringing both companies together under one umbrella.