Lithium • Alkali Metal

Primary XPS region: Li1s
Overlapping regions: Au5p3/2, Fe3p1/2
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical stateBinding energy Li1s
Li2TiO354.7 eV
Li2CO355.4 eV
Li2B4O755.9 eV
LiF56.1 eV
LiCl56.3 eV

Charge referenced to adventitious C1s peak at 284.8eV.

 

Experimental information

  • Li1s peak has very low sensitivity.
    • Use a large number (50) of scans when acquiring Li1s spectrum.

 

Interpretation of XPS spectra

  • There are no lithium secondary peaks to assist in confirmation.
    • Difficult to confidently assign Li1s peak for low concentrations. In the case of overlap with other elements, peak fitting will be required.
    • In the example shown below, the Fe3p components have been empirically fitted (they do not represent a theoretically rigorous treatment of the Fe3p peak shape).
Lithium • Alkali Metal
Spectrum Showing Li1s Fe3p Overlap Li2CO3 Fe2O3
Element Crystal bcc

About this element

Symbol: Li
Date of discovery: 1817
Name origin: Greek lithos
Appearance: silvery
Discoverer: Johann Arfvedson
Obtained from: kernite

Melting point: 453.69 K
Boiling point: 1620.15 K
Density[kg/m3]: 535
Molar volume: 13.02 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 3
Neutrons: 4
Shell structure: 2,1
Electron configuration: [He]2s1
Oxidation state: 1
Crystal structure: body centered cubic

Johann Arfvedson discovered lithium in 1817 in a petalite ore found in Sweden. However, the highly reactive nature of lithium prevented its isolation until W.T. Brande and H. Davy used electrolysis on lithium oxide. Lithium is not found freely in nature because of its reactive nature. It is the lightest metal with a density about half that of water. Lithium is characterized by a bright red color when heated. The high electrochemical potential of lithium makes it an important material in storage batteries. Some lithium alloys are used to make high performance aircraft parts and a number of lithium salts are used as mood stabilizers in the treatment of bipolar disorder and depression.

 


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