Indexed on: 28 Apr '16Published on: 21 Apr '16Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry A
Detection of secondary emissions, fluorescence yield (FY), or electron yield (EY), originating from the relaxation processes upon X-ray resonant absorption has been widely adopted for X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) measurements when the primary absorption process cannot be probed directly in transmission mode. Various spectral distortion effects inherent in the relaxation processes and in the subsequent transportation of emitted particles (electron or photon) through the sample, however, undermine the proportionality of the emission signals to the X-ray absorption coefficient. In the present study, multiple radiative (FY) and nonradiative (EY) decay channels have been experimentally investigated on a model system, FeCl3 aqueous solution, at the excitation energy of the Fe L-edge. The systematic comparisons between the experimental spectra taken from various decay channels, as well as the comparison with the theoretically simulated Fe L-edge XA spectrum that involves only the absorption process, indicate that the detection of the Fe 3s → 2p partial fluorescence yield (PFY) gives rise to the true Fe L-edge XA spectrum. The two key characteristics generalized from this particular decay channel—zero orbital angular momentum (i.e., s orbital) and core-level emission—set a guideline for obtaining undistorted X-ray absorption spectra in the future.