Welcome to the Fast XPS beamline!

High resolution core-level photoemission spectroscopy (HR-XPS) allows in depth investigations on the electronic and structural properties of a variety of samples that ranges between single crystals, thin films as well as new nanostructured materials.
SuperESCA (the first beamline operating at Elettra since 1994) brings the possibilities of this technique even further: by combining high resolution capabilities with the high flux of linearly polarised photons in the 90 to 1500 eV range, in the beamline end-station it is possible to obtain high resolution spectra also for low-density systems (such as thin films or supported nanoparticles) and follow in real-time their evolution, e.g. during functionalization processes or surface reactions.

SuperESCA Highlights | Publications

Stable self-assembled monolayers on ferromagnetic 3d metals

The carboxylic group of prototypical benzoate molecules is found to ensure a thermally robust anchoring and strong electronic coupling of organic monolayers to 3d transition metals such as Ni, Co and Fe, at the same time hindering facile dissociation on these reactive surfaces.

R. Han et al., Chem. Commun. 52, 9805 (2016).

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Graphene nanoblisters on nickel

Argon intercalation below a graphene layer grown epitaxially on Ni(111), followed by annealing at 940 K results in the formation of Ar-filled graphene nanoblisters sealed directly to the bare Ni surface. The process was monitored with real-time High-Resolution Photoemission Spectroscopy (HR-XPS) and the atomic structure of the blisters was studied with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM).

R. Larciprete et al., NanoLetters 16, 1808 (2016).

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Two-dimensional self-assembly of benzotriazole

Often the physicochemical properties of a material depend on its dimensionality; for organic molecules intermolecular interactions present in the 3D solid may differ from those of 2D or 1D systems. NEXAFS, XPS, HREELS, and LT-STM measurements, combined with DFT modelling, reveal a subtle balance of interactions governing the adsorption of Benzotriazole (BTAH, C6H5N3) on Au(111).

F. Grillo et al., Nanoscale 8, 9167 (2016).

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Molecular twisting, lifting and curling

Coronene molecules undergo major conformational changes during surface-assisted dissociation on Ir(111): they tilt upward, then they undergo  a rotation and they settle to form a dome-shaped nanographene.


  D. Curcio et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 3395 (2016).

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Single-oriented domains of h-BN on Ir(111)

Using X-ray Photoelectron Diffraction (XPD) we show that, on the Ir(111) surface, ordinary high-temperature borazine deposition gives rise to an h-BN monolayer formed by fcc and hcp antiparallel domains, while h-BN monolayer with single fcc orientation can be synthesized by dosing borazine at room temperature followed by annealing.

F. Orlando et al., ACS Nano 8, 12063 (2014).

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Nitroxides adsorption on carbon nanotubes

XPS and XAS experiments, combined with DFT calculations, revealed that the reactivity of single-walled CNTs towards NOx depends on their metallicity. Ultrapure metallic CNTs are twice more prone to NO2 physisorption than their semiconducting counterparts, while the latter induce more dissociation on the adsorbed NO2.

G. Ruiz-Soria et al., ACS Nano 8, 1375 (2014).

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Ultrafast charge transfer to graphene monolayers

The charge transfer (CT) rates of a localized excited electron to graphene monolayers with variable substrate coupling were investigated by the core hole clock (CHC) method with adsorbed argon. CT time (τCT) to Gr depends strongly on Gr-substrate coupling and varies from ~16 fs, for decoupled Gr, to ~2.5 ns for strong coupling.

S. Lizzit et al., ACS Nano 7, 4359 (2013).

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Patterning graphene with hydrogen clusters

Combined fast XPS and DFT calculations revealed the presence of two types of hydrogen adsorbate structures at the graphene/Ir(111) interface: graphane-like islands, giving rise to a periodic pattern, and dimers, which tend to destroy the periodicity. Distinctive growth rates and stability of the two types of structures allow obtaining well-defined patterns of clusters.

R. Balog et al., ACS Nano 7, 3823 (2013).

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Where you can find us

Luca and Elisabetta will give oral presentations at

FisMat 2017
Italian National Conference on the Physics of Matter
  October 1st - 5th, 2017
Trieste, Italy

User Area

Proposal Submission

We invite users and collabrators to discuss their proposals with the beamline local contacts well in advance before the submission deadline. This is crucial for a careful assessment of the experiment feasibility and may lead to improvements in the proposed experimental plan. Our website provides a wealth of information on experiment feasibilty and proposal submission. For more info, please vist the user info section.

Call for proposals

The deadline for proposal submission for beamtime allocation from January 1st to June 30th, 2018 will be September 15th, 2017.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 10:39