Differential charging is often regarded as a problem in X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic studies, especially for insulating or partially conducting samples. Application of a positive bias can reduce the effect of differential charging by attracting stray electrons from the system, thereby compensating for the electron loss. On the other hand, differential charging effect can be enhanced by the application of a negative bias to the sample during spectrum acquisition. The successful use of the differential charging technique to distinguish between multi- and monolayer organophosphonate films on oxide-covered silicon has been reported. A detailed description of this technique is now presented which shows how differential charging can be used as an important tool for the characterization of self-assembled films deposited on various surfaces. The dependence of this technique on the conductivity of the substrate has been investigated by studying the spectral behavior of the deposited films of phosphonic acid on conducting, semiconducting, and insulating samples (stainless steel, silicon, and glass). Application of either positive or negative dc electrical bias affects the carbon core-level (C1s) line shape and intensity, which is dependent on the atom's physical location above the surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces