Electron-induced segregation to surfaces of the superionic conductor Naβ-alumina studied by AES and XPS

A. Livshits, M. Polak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Pronounced changes in sodium surface concentration and chemical state were observed after electron bombardment of cleaved single crystal Naβ-alumina, which is known to exhibit unusually fast Na+ transport. In particular, a distinct increase in the sodium Auger signal started at a certain energy and current density of the primary electron beam and was always accompanied by a large surface charging. Thus, migration of Na+ under the influence of the induced electric fields was found to be the major process leading to the sodium segregation at the Naβ-alumina cleavage surface. Possible mechanisms for the segregation process are discussed. XPS measurements of the bombarded surface revealed the appearance of neutral sodium atoms as well as sodium-oxygen multilayer surface compounds. A simple method to obtain the electric potential distribution at the surface ("charging-map") is demonstrated. The sodium distribution on the Naβ-alumina surface after e-bombardment was found to be reflected in the corresponding charging-map.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-330
Number of pages17
JournalSurface Science
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2 Jul 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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