SuperESCA

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

The power of surfaces: meta-polyaniline from para-aminophenol

The catalytic properties of the Pt (111) surface allow adsorbed para-aminophenol molecules, upon thermal stimulus, to covalently react each other forming oligomers coupled in a metaconfiguration. The behaviour of the system has been characterized by multiple experimental techniques, including STM, nc-AFM, STS and fast-XPS, and DFT calculations.
Nerea Ruiz del Árbol et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 59, 23220 (2020).

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NO2 desorption from Carbon nanotubes filled with Ni nanoclusters

High-resolution fast XPS allowed verifying that the interaction of nitrogen dioxide with metallicity sorted Single Walled Carbon Nanotubescan be tuned by filling the tubes either with nickel(II) acetylacetonate molecules or with Ni clusters, achieving desorption of NO2 at ambient temperature.


F. Fedi et al., J. Mater. Chem. A 8, 9753 (2020).

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Carbon-carbon bond formation on cobalt

High-resolution fast XPS allowed determining the concentration and chemical identity of the surface intermediates that form when the ethylene precursor reacts on the CO pre-covered Co(0001) surface. The results provide insights on C-C bond formation on a cobalt catalyst, an important step in the formation of long chain hydrocarbons in the Fischer-Tropsch process.
C.J. Weststrate et al., Nat. Commun. 11, 750 (2020).

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Dual-route hydrogenation of epitaxial graphene

In this study it is investigated the room temperature hydrogenarion of the graphene/Ni(111) system. It is found that at the beginning of hydrogenation H atoms chemisorb on graphene, while at higher H doses intercalation below the graphene layer takes place. Data point out that the amount of intercalated hydrogen can be more than twice larger than the quantity of H that con be adsorbed on the bare Ni(111) surface.
D. Lizzit et al., ACS Nano. 13, 1828 (2019).

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Low-dimensional benzotriazole-copper assemblies

A combination of several surface sensitive techniques (NEXAFS, XPS, HREELS and STM) and DFT modelling allowed investigating the interaction of Cu atoms (supported on a less reactive Au(111) surface) with benzotriazole (C6H5N3) which is known to enhance the corrosion resistance of copper.



F. Grillo et al., Nanoscale 11, 13017 (2019).

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Tungsten disulfide on Au(111)

In this work, we combined several techniques to provide a characterization of single-layer (SL) WS2 grown on Au(111). In particular, we used x-ray photoelectron diffraction (XPD) to determine the structural properties of the interface, proving that we have a WS2 layer with a single orientation.


Editors' Suggestion
L. Bignardi et al., Phys. Rev. Materials 3, 014003 (2019).

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Silicon on Ir(111)

Fast X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements and density functional theory calculations were used to establish whether at low coverage, Si adatoms float on the Ir surface or displace substrate atoms and are incorporated into the metal. The results show that the interface is unstable with respect to the formation of Si–Ir alloys, a behavior that excludes the formation of a silicene layer on the Ir(111) substrate.




M. Satta et al., Nanoscale 10, 7085 (2018).

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Single-oriented epitaxial MoS2

Using a combination of surface science techniques, including XPS, XPD, STM and ARPES we succesfully demonstrate a protocol for the synthesis through physical vapor deposition of SL MoS2 on Au(111) with a single domain orientation featuring large area and a low concentration of defects. The observed complete spin reversal of the states near K and –K points of the Brillouin zone makes this layer ideal for spin-valleytronics applications.

H. Bana et al., 2D Mater. 5, 035012 (2018).

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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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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.

SELECTED FOR THE COVER OF VOL. 138, Issue 10.





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

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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 July 1st to December 31st, 2020 has been postponed from March 16th to April 6th, 2020.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 November 2019 17:11