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Buried interfaces studied by photoelectron diffraction


Angle- and energy-scanned photoelectron diffraction data can be used to investigate structures below surfaces. The modulations in photoelectron intensity result from diffraction of the emitted electron wave at neighbor atoms. In the past, scanned-energy photoelectron diffraction had been mainly used to determine the adsorption site of molecules at surfaces. Recent data show, however, that the technique can also be employed to obtain information about the upper substrate layer(s). At low kinetic energies, backward scattering is strong and in scanned-angle photoelectron diffraction the recorded patterns result from backward- and multiple-scattering effects. For a structural analysis, the intensity modulations have to be compared with the results for simulations performed for model clusters. As an example, recent angle-scanned photoelectron diffraction patterns recorded for the technologically important silicon oxide/silicon interface were compared with simulations. At the Si(001) surface orientation, the interface is extended over a few layers, whereas at the Si(111) surface orientation the transition is rather abrupt and occurs within one or two layers.

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Received: 9 September 2002 / Accepted: 2 October 2002 / Published online: 5 February 2003


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Westphal, C. Buried interfaces studied by photoelectron diffraction . Appl Phys A 76, 721–730 (2003).

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