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Toward an increased reliability of chemical bonding assignment in insulating samples by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
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: 0000-0001-9237-6512
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2837-3656
2023 (English)In: Science Advances, E-ISSN 2375-2548, Vol. 9, no 37, article id eadi3192Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) spectra from solid samples are conventionally referenced to the spectrometer Fermi level (FL). While, in the case of metallic samples, alignment of the sample and the spectrometer FLs can be directly verified from the measured Fermi edge position, thus allowing to assess the surface electrical potential, this is not a workable option for insulators. When applied, it generates a large spread in reported binding energy values that often exceed involved chemical shifts. By depositing insulating amorphous alumina thin films on a variety of conducting substrates with different work functions, we show not only that FL referencing fails but also that the Al2O3 energy levels align instead to the vacuum level, as postulated in the early days of XPS. Based on these model experiments that can be repeated for all sorts of thin-film insulators, a solution to the binding energy reference problem is proposed for reliable assessment of chemical bonding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE , 2023. Vol. 9, no 37, article id eadi3192
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-198677DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adi3192ISI: 001068543100013PubMedID: 37713479OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-198677DiVA, id: diva2:1806730
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council VR [2018-03957]; Swedish Energy Agency [51201-1]; Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation [KAW2019.0290]; Carl Tryggers Stiftelse [CTS 20:150]; aforsk Foundation [22-4]; Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linkoeping University [2009-00971]

Available from: 2023-10-23 Created: 2023-10-23 Last updated: 2024-05-01

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Pshyk, Oleksandr V.

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