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Referencing to adventitious carbon in X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy: Can differential charging explain C 1s peak shifts?
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4898-5115
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2837-3656
2022 (English)In: Applied Surface Science, ISSN 0169-4332, E-ISSN 1873-5584, Vol. 606, article id 154855Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

C 1s peak of adventitious carbon (AdC), often used for charge referencing XPS spectra, shows markedly large shifts from the "recommended" value of 284.8 eV that basically disqualifies its reliability. In some earlier papers we attributed this spreading effect to the vacuum level (VL) alignment at the AdC/sample interface, which makes the measured position of C 1s peak highly sensitive to the sample work function . Recently, it was suggested [M.C. Biesinger, Appl. Surf. Sci. 597 (2022) 153681] that it is instead the differential charging in the native oxide layers that sometimes accounts for C 1s shifts and that electrically isolating samples from the spectrometer would solve the problem. To evaluate this hypothesis, we performed a series of experiments with Au and Al foils electrically isolated from the spectrometer, while varying the surface potential in a relatively wide range by adjusting the charge neutralizer settings. Markedly, the C 1s peak positions recorded from Au and Al foils are distinctly different when referred to their Fermi levels, at respectively 284.80 +/- 0.05 eV and 286.31 +/- 0.06 eV, independent of the surface potential. This confirms the interpretation presented in our previous papers (experiments performed in a conventional way with samples connected to spectrometer), that the binding energy of C 1s peaks from Au and Al foils differs significantly due to the corresponding difference in their work function values, such that the sum is constant at similar to 289.6 eV, as imposed by the VL alignment. In addition, the energy separation between metal and oxide peaks in Al 2p spectra from Al foil is independent of the surface potential (controlled by the charge neutralizer settings), the photoelectron current (varied by adjusting x-ray power) and the Al oxide thickness (in the range from 0.7 to 4.7 nm). These observations disprove differential charging as the general cause of C 1s peak shifts at least for the case of Al foils with thinner oxide layers. As many thicker oxides are well-known to develop charging, a similar type of analysis can be performed on the case-tocase bases to determine the reasons for C 1s peak shifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2022. Vol. 606, article id 154855
Keywords [en]
XPS; Photoelectron spectroscopy; Native oxide; Adventitious carbon; Charge correction
National Category
Condensed Matter Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-189912DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2022.154855ISI: 000876186600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-189912DiVA, id: diva2:1710645
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council VR [2018-03957]; Swedish Energy Agency [51201-1]; Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation [KAW2016.0358, KAW2019.0290]; Carl Tryggers Stiftelse [CTS 20:150]

Available from: 2022-11-14 Created: 2022-11-14 Last updated: 2022-12-06

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Greczynski, GrzegorzHultman, Lars
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