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Photoemission and Photoelectron Spectroscopy

  1. Franz J. Himpsel1,
  2. Ingolf Lindau2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap325.pub3

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Himpsel, F. J. and Lindau, I. 2009. Photoemission and Photoelectron Spectroscopy. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. 285–318.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Physics, Madison, WI, USA

  2. 2

    Lund University, Department of Physics-SLF, Lund, Sweden

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


This chapter addresses the applications of photoelectron spectroscopy in atomic and molecular physics, solid state physics, surface science, and materials science. First, the theoretical underpinnings are outlined. Subsequently, the advances in light sources and detectors, such as synchrotron radiation from undulators, UV lasers, efficient multidetection of energy and momentum, and high-resolution zero kinetic energy electron detection, are discussed. The remainder is dedicated to a variety of case studies that illustrate the wide range of techniques and applications. The generic methods are photoelectron spectroscopy of core-levels (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) or electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA)), photoelectron spectroscopy of valence electrons (ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES)), and X-ray absorption spectroscopy with electron detection for probing unoccupied molecular orbitals and magnetism (X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS), and magnetic circular dichroism (MCD)). Among the special applications are spectro-microscopy with chemical sensitivity, mapping of the electronic states near the Fermi level that are relevant to magnetism and superconductivity, and finding the electronic states of surfaces and nanostructures.


  • photoemission;
  • photoelectron spectroscopy;
  • electronic states;
  • valence electrons;
  • core electrons;
  • synchrotron radiation