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In this paper, we demonstrated the usefulness of low energy photoelectron spectrometer (LEPS) to characterize lubrication states on sputter carbon coated thin‐film disk. The threshold of photoelectric emission from lubricated sputter carbon, which was obtained by LEPS, gave significant information of the surface state on lubricated sputter carbon, and it explained the experimental results on the tribological behavior between the slider and lubricated disk. Furthermore, the thickness of the lubricant above 5 nm can be evaluated by measuring the attenuation of photoelectrons. It is applicable to the in situ measurement of photoelectric surface states of disk samples in ambient atmosphere without destroying them. This has a great advantage over the conventional photochemical analysis such as x‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Auger electron spectroscopy.