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Attenuation Lengths of Low-Energy Electrons in Solids



Cedric J. Powell


A compilation is presented of measured attenuation lengths of low-energy electrons in solids in the energy range (40 to 2000 eV) normally employed in X-ray photoelectron and Auger-electron spectroscopy. The techniques used to obtain electron attenuation lengths are summarized, and it is pointed out that the accuracy of measurement needs both to be defined adequately and to be improved for more meaningful intercomparisons of data and theory. An approximate expression is derived to predict attenuation lengths using either dielectric data (derived from optical or electron-energy-loss data) or average excitation energies estimated from electron binding energies for given materials at electron energies greater than about 500 eV. Good agreement is found between the predictions of this formula and some measured attenuation lengths (e.g. for Al, C, Mo, W) but further work is required to validate the formula and to extend it to lower electron energies.
Surface Science


Powell, C. (1974), Attenuation Lengths of Low-Energy Electrons in Solids, Surface Science (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created July 1, 1974, Updated February 19, 2017