AbstractThe purpose of this study is to develop an analytical method to quantify the nitrogen present at the surface of paper by using X-ray photo-electronic spectroscopy (XPS). A sample of softwood thermomechanical pulp (TMP) was treated with a cationic starch containing primary amines, while another one was treated with a cationic polymer containing quaternary amines. We also grafted monomers containing a quaternary amine to the fiber. Sheets were prepared and analyzed by XPS. The technique used allowed us to identify the type of amine and to give a semi-quantitative evaluation.