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Experimental and Theoretical Comparison of the O K-Edge Nonresonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering and X-ray Absorption Spectra of NaReO4

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journal contribution
posted on 06.10.2010, 00:00 by Joseph A. Bradley, Ping Yang, Enrique R. Batista, Kevin S. Boland, Carol J. Burns, David L. Clark, Steven D. Conradson, Stosh A. Kozimor, Richard L. Martin, Gerald T. Seidler, Brian L. Scott, David K. Shuh, Tolek Tyliszczak, Marianne P. Wilkerson, Laura E. Wolfsberg
Accurate X-ray absorption spectra (XAS) of first row atoms, e.g., O, are notoriously difficult to obtain due to the extreme sensitivity of the measurement to surface contamination, self-absorption, and saturation affects. Herein, we describe a comprehensive approach for determining reliable O K-edge XAS data for ReO41− and provide methodology for obtaining trustworthy and quantitative data on nonconducting molecular systems, even in the presence of surface contamination. This involves comparing spectra measured by nonresonant inelastic X-ray scattering (NRIXS), a bulk-sensitive technique that is not prone to X-ray self-absorption and provides exact peak intensities, with XAS spectra obtained by three different detection modes, namely total electron yield (TEY), fluorescence yield (FY), and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM). For ReO41−, TEY measurements were heavily influenced by surface contamination, while the FY and STXM data agree well with the bulk NRIXS analysis. These spectra all showed two intense pre-edge features indicative of the covalent interaction between the Re 5d and O 2p orbitals. Density functional theory calculations were used to assign these two peaks as O 1s excitations to the e and t2 molecular orbitals that result from Re 5d and O 2p covalent mixing in Td symmetry. Electronic structure calculations were used to determine the amount of O 2p character (%) in these molecular orbitals. Time dependent-density functional theory (TD-DFT) was also used to calculate the energies and intensities of the pre-edge transitions. Overall, under these experimental conditions, this analysis suggests that NRIXS, STXM, and FY operate cooperatively, providing a sound basis for validation of bulk-like excitation spectra and, in combination with electronic structure calculations, suggest that NaReO4 may serve as a well-defined O K-edge energy and intensity standard for future O K-edge XAS studies.