Free Access
Microsc. Microanal. Microstruct.
Volume 6, Number 3, June 1995
Page(s) 345 - 362
Microsc. Microanal. Microstruct. 6, 345-362 (1995)
DOI: 10.1051/mmm:1995125

The Role of the Auger Mechanism in the Radiation Damage of Insulators

Jacques Cazaux

LASSI, BP. 347, Faculté des Sciences, 51062 Reims Cedex, France

The ionization damage associated with electron and X-ray irradiation of insulating specimens during their investigation by various techniques (EM, AES, XPS, etc.) is considered from the point of view of the Auger mechanism. This damage results from the Auger electron transport through the specimen and more specifically from the Auger cascade in the excited atom. After electronic rearrangements, this cascade finally leaves elctron vacancies in the uppermost allowed states of the valence band. It is shown that these vacancies may explain various experimental results, such as the valent crystals. A possible way to quantify these effects is shown for the case of X-ray irradiation and for the case of electron irradiation. In the two cases, the correlation between microscopic mechanisms and their macroscopic consequences, from the point of view of charging effects, is pointed out for the first time. Finallyvarious positive aspects of these effects are outlined. They concern some new methods of characterization and of elaboration in materials science.

7920F - Electron surface impact: Auger emission.
6180C - X ray effects.
6180F - Electron and positron effects.

Key words
Auger effect -- electron beam effects -- X ray effects -- Auger mechanism -- radiation damage -- insulators -- X ray irradiation -- electron irradiation -- Auger electron transport -- Auger cascade -- excited atom -- electron vacancies -- uppermost allowed states -- valence band -- ionic species -- halides -- oxides

© EDP Sciences 1995