Study of surface oxidation of rare-earth metals by photoelectron spectroscopy
Surface oxidation of La, Ce, Sm and Tb metals has been investigated by He(II) ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (u.p.s.) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (X.p.s.). Oxidation of La gives rise to La2O3 on the surface. While Ce2O3 appears to be the stable oxide on the surface, we find evidence for formation of CeO2 at high oxygen exposure. Valence band of Sm clearly shows the presence of both divalent and trivalent states due to interconfigurational fluctuation. Exposure of Sm to oxygen first depletes the divalent Sm at the surface. While Sm2O3 is the stable oxide on the surface of Sm, Tb2O3 is the stable oxide on the surface of Tb (and not any of the higher oxides).