Quantitative analysis of satellite structures in XPS spectra of gold and silver

N. Pauly , F. Yubero, Sven Mosbæk Tougaard

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Identification of specific chemical states and local electronic environments at surfaces by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is often difficult because it is not straightforward to quantitatively interpret the shape and intensity of shake-up structures that originate from the photoexcitation process. Indeed the shape and intensity of measured XPS structures are strongly affected by both extrinsic excitations due to electron transport out of the surface and intrinsic excitations induced by the sudden creation of the static core hole. These processes must be taken into account to quantitatively extract, from experimental XPS, the primary excitation spectrum of the considered transition which includes all effects that are part of the initial photo-excitation process, i.e. lifetime broadening, spin–orbit coupling, and multiplet splitting. It was previously shown [N. Pauly, S. Tougaard, F. Yubero, Surf. Sci. 620 (2014) 17] that both extrinsic and intrinsic excitations could be included in an effective energy-differential inelastic electron scattering cross section for XPS which is then convoluted with the primary excitation spectrum to model the full XPS spectrum. This method can thus be applied to determine the primary excitation spectrum from any XPS spectrum. We use this approach in the present paper to determine the Au 4f and Ag 3d photoemission spectra from pure metals. We observe that characteristic energy loss features of the XPS spectra are not only due to photoelectron energy losses. We thus prove the existence of a double shake-up process characterized by a 4d → 5s/5p transition for Ag and a 5d → 6s/6p transition for Au. We finally accurately quantify the energy position and intensity of these shake-up peaks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Surface Science
Pages (from-to)317-323
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Core hole effect
  • Gold
  • Photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Silver
  • Surface effect
  • XPS


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