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L3 White line Splitting of Copper in the Electron Energy loss Spectrum of YBa2Cu3O7−x

  • Charming C. Ahn (a1), David S. Lee (a1) and Konrad Samwer (a2)


We have used electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) to probe the L23 excitation of the 930 eV copper 2p to 3d transition in YBa2Cu3O7−x. Unlike UPS and XPS which are surface sensitive, EELS permits analysis of bulk properties from submicron regions of a single crystal. In addition, EELS probes the lowest unoccupied states and is particularly suited to the analysis of Cu valance states in YBa2Cu3O7−x We observe a splitting of the L33 peak of ∼2.7 eV, which we attribute to contributions from both Cu 2+ and Cu 3+. The intensity contribution Cu 3+ is maximized when a two beam condition is used to enhance channeling of the electrons between the {033} planes of the crystal near a [100] orientation. Upon prolonged exposure of the compound to the incident electron beam, the splitting disappears and the only contribution to the L3 white line is from divalent copper.



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