Electronic Characterization of Submonolayer Films

  • E. W. Plummer


The complete characterization of a surface or a submonolayer film on that surface must specify: (i) the chemical identity of the atoms present; (ii) the geometrical or structural arrangement of these atoms; and (iii) the distribution of electrons around these atoms, both in energy and space.1,2 At present Auger electron spectroscopy is being used very successfully to identify the atoms present on a surface.1,3 Low-energy electron diffraction now seems to be at the stage of development theoretically where it can be used to determine the position of atoms on a surface when they are in an ordered array.4 These techniques furnish very little information about the “chemistry” of the surface. Auger electron spectroscopy looks at the characteristic two electron decay to a core level of the atom and the theory of low-energy electron diffraction has been successful because the incoming electron scatters from the ion core, not the valence electrons.4 If one is going to investigate the interactions of adsorbed atoms or molecules with each other and the substrate, then it would seem to be essential to use experimental techniques which are sensitive to changes in the electronic structure in the outer-most or valence electrons.


Valence Electron Adsorbed Atom Ground Atomic State Electron Decay Auger Electron Spec 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. W. Plummer
    • 1
  1. 1.National Bureau of StandardsWashington, D.C.USA

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