Auger effect

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Auger effect

One of the two principal processes for the relaxation of an inner-shell electron vacancy in an excited or ionized atom. The Auger effect is a two-electron process in which an electron makes a discrete transition from a less bound shell to the vacant, but more tightly bound, electron shell. The energy gained in this process is transferred, via the electrostatic interaction, to another bound electron which then escapes from the atom. This outgoing electron is referred to as an Auger electron and is labeled by letters corresponding to the atomic shells involved in the process. For example, a KLILIII Auger electron corresponds to a process in which an LI electron makes a transition to the K shell and the energy is transferred to an LIII electron (illus. a). By the conservation of energy, the Auger electron kinetic energy E is given by E = E(K) - E(LI) - E(LIII) where E(K,L) is the binding energy of the various electron shells. Since the energy levels of atoms are discrete and well understood, the Auger energy is a signature of the emitting atom. See Electron configuration, Energy level (quantum mechanics)

The other principal process for the filling of an inner-shell hole is a radiative one in which the transition energy is carried off by a photon (illus. b). Inner-shell vacancies in elements with large atomic number correspond to large transition energies and usually decay by such radiative processes; vacancies in elements with low atomic number or outer-shell vacancies with low transition energies decay primarily by Auger processes.

Two principal processes for the filling of an inner-shell electron vacancyenlarge picture
Two principal processes for the filling of an inner-shell electron vacancy

Auger effect

[ō′zhā i‚fekt]
(atomic physics)
A two-electron process in which an electron makes a discrete transition from a less bound shell to a vacant electron shell and the energy gained in this process is tranferred via the electrostatic interaction to another bound electron which escapes the atom. Also known as Auger transition; internal absorption; internal photoionization.
References in periodicals archive ?
Analysis of Materials by Electron-Excited Auger Electrons," J.
This article provides an overview of the Auger electron spectroscopy technique and includes examples of its use for studying coatings.
Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) is a surface sensitive analysis method for determining the elemental composition of solid materials.
The energy imparted to the Auger electron is dependent on the position of the electron energy levels involved.
Analysis of Sub-Micron Defects by Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES)," in Microelectronics Failure Analysis Desk Reference, 5th Edition, Holdford, R.
He says the silhouette interpretation flies in the face of several independent quantum mechanical explanations of the distribution of Auger electrons.