Revisiting surface core-level shifts for ionic compounds

Paul S. Bagus, Connie J. Nelin, Xunhua Zhao, Sergey V. Levchenko, Earl Davis, Xuefei Weng, Florian Späth, Christian Papp, Helmut Kuhlenbeck, Hans Joachim Freund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The shifts of core-level binding energies can provide powerful information about the electronic structure of a material. Understanding the physical origin of these shifts for catalytically relevant oxides may provide important insight into their properties. This requires reliable theoretical methods which are able to relate the binding energy shifts to the electronic structure. In order to establish such a methodology, the CaO(100) surface to bulk core-level binding energy shifts have been studied with Hartree-Fock and density-functional theory methods using both cluster and periodic slab models. The shifts obtained from the different theoretical methods are compared with each other and with data from synchrotron-based x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements. With a common approximation for the slab model treatment of XPS, the predicted binding energy shifts are seriously in error. The origin of the error is identified as arising from a flawed treatment of the surface atom binding energies, and a method for correcting the failure is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115419
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


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