electron energy loss spectroscopy abbr., EELS (rus. спектроскопия характеристических потерь энергии электронами abbr., СХПЭЭ) — a type of electron spectroscopy based on analysis of inelastically scattered electrons that lost fixed amounts of energy in the process of interaction with the solid body.


Electrons' characteristic energy losses cover a wide range of values from 10-3 to 104 eV and can occur due to various scattering processes such as deep levels excitation (100-104 eV), plasmons excitation and electronic interband transitions (1-100 eV), excitation of vibrations of the surface and adsorbate atoms (10–3–1 eV).

The term "spectroscopy of electrons' characteristic energy losses (SECEL)" has a double significance. On the one hand, it is used as a general term for methods to analyse electron energy loss throughout the range from 10-3 to 104 eV.

On the other hand, it has a narrower meaning which refers to the method intended to research characteristic losses of only the second group with energies ranging from several eV to several tens of eV associated with the excitation of plasmons and electronic interband transitions. Unlike the above, the first group of losses is the subject to the deep-level SECEL method, and the third group – to the high-resolution SECEL method. However, the most frequent use of the SECEL method (in the narrow sense) is aimed with solving such problems as determining the density of electrons involved in plasma oscillations, and chemical analysis of samples, including analysis of elements' distribution through depth.


  • Zotov Andrey V.
  • Saranin Alexander A.


  1. Oura K. et al. Surface Science: An Introduction // Springer, 2010. - 452 pp.

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