Auger electron spectroscopy abbr., AES (rus. электронная Оже-спектроскопия otherwise Оже-спектроскопия abbr., ЭОС) — a method to analyse the structure of matter by the electron energy spectra resultant from the Auger effect when a sample is exposed to high energy beams  – of quanta, ions and electrons.


This method is based on the Auger effect, discovered by French physicist Pierre Victor Auger in the 1920s. In this phenomenon, when a sample is exposed to a beam of high-energy emitted electrons, the example shown in Fig. a, the binding energy of levels involved can be estimated as follows , where is the work function of material. It is worth noting that the equation gives a rough estimate, since it does not take into account that electrons are emitted from an ion, and not from a neutral atom. Ionisation of atoms leads to a shift of electronic levels down, which naturally affects the energy of the emitted Auger electrons. The Auger spectroscopy method is widely used in R&D labs, as well as in the chemical and metal industries and microelectronics due to the high surface sensitivity, the obtainability of quantitative information, and the usability of the method.


аб — schematic diagrams showing two competing processes of relaxation of an excited atom (auger emission and x-ray fluorescence). Silicon is used as an example. Energy of auger electrons KL1L2,3 is estimated at 1591 eV, while energy of x-ray quanta is 1690 eV. c — Schematic diagram of L2,3VV auger transmission.


  • Zotov Andrey V.
  • Saranin Alexander A.


  1. D. Briggs, M. P. Seah Practical Surface Analysis: Auger and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. - Wiley, 1990. - 657 pp.
  2. Oura K. et al. Surface Science: An Introduction // Springer, 2010 - 452 pp.

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