An Amoco P55X pitched‐based carbon fiber surface was analyzed with both core level and valence band XPS. Compared to Du Pont pitch‐based carbon fibers with different modulus and Hercules PAN‐based carbon fibers, the P55X fiber had more oxygen content on the surface than the higher modulus, pitch‐based carbon fibers (e.g., Du Pont E‐120 and E‐75 fibers), but less than the lower modulus pitch based carbon fiber (Du Pont E‐35) and PAN‐based carbon fibers (Hercules AU4 and AS4). [See Y. Xie and P. M. A. Sherwood, Appl. Spectrosc. 43, 1153 (1989); Chem. Mater. 1, 427 (1989); 2, 293 (1990); Appl. Spectrosc. 44, 797 (1990); Chem. Mater. 3, 164 (1991); Appl. Spectrosc. 44, 1621 (1990); 45, 1158 (1991); Y. Xie, T. Wang, O. Franklin, and P. M. A. Sherwood, ibid. 46, 645 (1992).] The P55X fiber also had a fairly good graphitic structure in both the surface and the bulk as evidenced by both XPS and XRD. No nitrogen was found on this P55X fiber nor on the other pitch‐based carbon fiber surfaces, but it was found on the PAN‐based fibers. Our previously reported work [Y. Xie and P. M. A. Sherwood, Chem. Mater. 1, 427 (1989); 2, 293 (1990); Appl. Spectrosc. 44, 797 (1990); Chem. Mater. 3, 164 (1991); Appl. Spectrosc. 44, 1621 (1990); 45, 1158 (1991); Y. Xie, T. Wang, O. Franklin, and P. M. A. Sherwood, ibid. 46, 645 (1992)], showed that XPS valence band spectra were more sensitive to chemical environment on the carbon fiber surface than core level spectra and could be well interpreted by X–α calculations with model compounds. In this work, the valence band spectrum showed that there were at least two different types of oxygen species on the P55X fiber surface. The two well separated O 2s features in the P55X fiber valence band spectrum were both more significant than those in the E‐75 fiber valence band spectrum, but less than those in the E‐35 fiber valence band.