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Journal Article

An extension of the mean free path approach to X-ray absorption spectroscopy


Grunze,  Michael
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Zharnikov, M., Frey, S., Heister, K., & Grunze, M. (2002). An extension of the mean free path approach to X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, 124(1), 15-24. doi:10.1016/S0368-2048(02)00004-X.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-C020-1
In the partial electron yield (PEY) acquisition mode commonly used in X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) both elastically and inelastically scattered electrons are acquired, the latter contribution dominating the detector signal. Hence, the majority of the inelastic scattering events will not result in signal attenuation as happens in the case of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). To determine the respective changes in the effective mean free paths (MFP) we have performed XPS and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy measurements for a series of self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiols on gold substrates. The length of the alkyl chain and, therefore, the film thickness was varied. In agreement with expectations, the obtained MFPs for the Au 4f photoelectrons and CKLL Auger electrons in the PEY acquisition mode (with the respective inelastic contributions) exceed the corresponding values for the Au 4f and CKLL electrons of the same kinetic energies in the constant final state acquisition mode. Furthermore, the effective PEY-MFP for the CKLL Auger electrons increased with decreasing retarding voltage of the PEY detector, which correlates with the enhanced contribution of the inelastically scattered electrons in the acquired signal. The results obtained are of importance for the analysis of XAS spectra of thin organic films and polymers.