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TU Berlin

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X-ray emission spectroscopy

The principle of X-ray emission spectroscopy is to gather the emitted fluorescence spectra of excited samples with high energy resolution in order to investigate the chemical environment of an atom.

When a sample is irradiated with X-rays (or electron, protons, …) an atom can be ionized and an electron from another shell will fill up the generated vacancy. During this process the energy difference of the two involved levels can be emitted as an X-ray photon. So for probing the chemical state it is helpful two investigate emission lines which are especially sensitive to chemical changes, i.e. the emission lines involving outer valence shells.

For the 3d transition metals this can be for example the Kβ2,5 emission line. The challenge is that these so called satellite lines are very low in intensity and in most cases next to intensive main emission lines, here for example the Kβ1,3 emission line. The energetic position and the intensity of this emission line is a measure for the oxidation state of the probed atom.

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