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Title: Synchrotron-based ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of hydrogen and helium

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to obtain X-ray photoelectron spectra for elements lighter than lithium, namely hydrogen and helium. The literature is plagued with claims of this impossibility, which holds true for lab-based X-ray sources. However, this limitation is merely technical and is related mostly to the low X-ray photoionization cross-sections of the 1s orbitals of hydrogen and helium. Here, we show that, using ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), a bright-enough X-ray source allows the study of these elusive elements. This has important implications in the understanding of the limitations of one of the most useful techniques in materials science, and moreover, it potentially opens the possibility of using XPS to directly study the most abundant element in the universe.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN); Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering
  3. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  4. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012704; SC0012573; AC02-05CH11231
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 112; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Scientific User Facilities Division; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) (SC-27)
Country of Publication:
United States
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Spectroscopy; Condensed matter properties; X-ray spectroscopy; Chemical analysis; Surface collisions; Photoionization; Optical sources; Materials analysis; Physical optics; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1423385