X‐ray‐induced reduction of a surfactant/polyoxotungstate hybrid compound

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Aug 2, 2018
  • Author: Aaron V. Colusso, Andrew McDonagh, Michael B. Cortie
  • Journal: Surface and Interface Analysis

We investigate the spontaneous reduction of a photochromic surfactant/polyoxotungstate hybrid during repeated X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) scans and show how this effect may confound attempts to use soft X‐rays to characterise materials of this nature. The W4f core‐level spectra revealed a progressive increase of W5+ and W4+ species at the expense of W6+ as irradiation time increased. The samples developed a blue colour attributed to the presence of W4+ and/or W5+. The progressive photoreduction is also associated with a shift of the W6+ peak within the W4f spectrum to lower binding energies. This work highlights the need to consider inadvertent changes in oxidation state during X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy characterisation of samples containing photoreducible transition metals.

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