Characterization of self-assembled organic films using differential charging in X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

Manish Dubey, Irina Gouzman, Steven L. Bernasek, Jeffrey Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4649-4653
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 9 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • General Materials Science
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Electrochemistry


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