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XPS study of the surface chemistry of UO2 (111) single crystal film

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Konstantin I. Maslakov
  • Yury A. Teterin
  • Aleksej J. Popel
  • Anton Yu Teterin
  • Kirill E. Ivanov
  • Stepan N. Kalmykov
  • Vladimir G. Petrov
  • Ross Springell
  • Thomas B. Scott
  • Ian Farnan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-588
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
DateAccepted/In press - 4 Oct 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2018


A (111) air-exposed surface of UO2 thin film (150 nm) on (111) YSZ (yttria-stabilized zirconia) before and after the Ar+ etching and subsequent in situ annealing in the spectrometer analytic chamber was studied by XPS technique. The U 5f, U 4f and O 1s electron peak intensities were employed for determining the oxygen coefficient kO = 2 + x of a UO2+x oxide on the surface. It was found that initial surface (several nm) had kO = 2.20. A 20 s Ar+ etching led to formation of oxide UO2.12, whose composition does not depend significantly on the etching time (up to 180 s). Ar+ etching and subsequent annealing at temperatures 100–380 °C in vacuum was established to result in formation of stable well-organized structure UO2.12 reflected in the U 4f XPS spectra as high intensity (∼28% of the basic peak) shake-up satellites 6.9 eV away from the basic peaks, and virtually did not change the oxygen coefficient of the sample surface. This agrees with the suggestion that a stable (self-assembling) phase with the oxygen coefficient kO ≈ 2.12 forms on the UO2 surface.

    Research areas

  • Ar sputtering, Ionic composition, Surface chemistry, Thin film, UO, XPS

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