Auger Electron Spectroscopy

 

Auger electron spectroscopy (AES; Auger pronounced [o??E?] In French) is a common analytical technique used specifically in the study of surfaces and, more generally, in the area of materials science. Underlying the spectroscopic technique is the Auger effect, as it has come to be called, which is based on the analysis of energetic electrons emitted from an excited atom after a series of internal relaxation events. The Auger effect was discovered independently by both Lise Meitner and Pierre Auger in the 1920's. Though the discovery was made by Meitner and initially reported in the journal Zeitschrift für Physik in 1922, Auger is credited with the discovery in most of the scientific community.[1] Until the early 1950's Auger transitions were considered nuisance effects by spectroscopists, not containing much relevant material information, but studied so as to explain anomalies in x-ray spectroscopy data. Since 1953 however, AES has become a practical and straightforward characterization technique for probing chemical and compositional surface environments and has found applications in metallurgy, gas-phase chemistry, and throughout the microelectronics industry

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Technique in which an electron spectrometer is used to measure the energy distribution of Auger electrons emitted from a surface

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Surface analytical method revealing the chemical composition. Surface atoms or molecules are core-ionised by an electron beam for instance. The energy of the emitted Auger electrons is recorded providing surface sensitive chemical information.

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