Disentangling Auger decays in O₂ by photoelectron-ion coincidences
Liu, Xiao-Jing; Nicolas, Christophe; Patanen, Minna; Miron, Catalin (2017-06-06)
Liu, X., Nicolas, C., Patanen, M., Miron, C. (2017) Disentangling Auger decays in O2 by photoelectron-ion coincidences. Scientific Reports, 7: 2898. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-02875-x
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In non-resonant Auger electron spectroscopies, multi core-ionized states lead to numerous energetically close-lying electronic transitions in Auger spectra, this hampering the assignment and interpretation of the experimental results. Here we reveal a new method to overcome this intrinsic limitation of non-resonant inner-shell spectroscopies. In a proof-of-principle experiment performed for the O₂ molecule, most of the Auger final states are dissociative, and we measure in coincidence the kinetic energy of the photoelectron and the kinetic energy release of the (O⁺, O⁺) ion pairs produced after the Auger decay of the O 1s−1 core-ionized states. The Auger final states are assigned using energy conservation. We fully separate the contributions from the ⁴Σ− and ²Σ− intermediate ionic states and conclusively demonstrate that the Auger decay probability can dramatically depend on the different O₂ 1s−1 intermediate multiplet states. In addition, a metastable Auger final state also exists, with lifetime longer than 3.8 μs, and clear changes are observed in both branching ratio and spectral profile of the O 1s photoelectron spectrum when they are recorded in coincidence with either O₂⁺⁺ or with other ionic species. These changes are attributed to the population of the metastable B′³Σ−u(ν′′=0) Auger final state via different intermediate states.
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