Analysis of a thin oxide film on a metal at near-normal and near-grazing collection angles could produce spectra with a larger relative intensity of the oxide peak at the near-grazing emission angle.
The information depth for XPS is a few nanometers, depending upon the kinetic energy of the electrons and the material being analyzed. Angle-resolved XPS (ARXPS), however, is a technique that varies the emission angle at which the electrons are collected, thereby enabling electron detection from different depths. ARXPS provides information about the thickness and composition of ultra-thin films. Such measurements are non-destructive, unlike sputter profiling.
Angle-resolved XPS experiments are undertaken in a serial manner, by limiting the angular acceptance of the analyzer and stepping through a range of angles in turn. This is usually undertaken by tilting the sample with respect to the analyzer.
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