The determination of the detailed chemical nature of oxidized aluminum species is an essential requirement for the study of many important practical aspects associated with aluminum metal and its compounds. While thick oxidized films of aluminum metal can be easily characterized by x-ray powder diffraction when the films are crystalline, thin amorphous films are very difficult to characterize. In this article, a study of the valence band x-ray photoelectron spectrum of aluminum oxides, hydroxides, and oxyhydroxides is reported using monochromatic aluminum X radiation. The valence band spectra obtained are shown to have significant differences for different oxidized aluminum species, and can be well understood by comparison with spectra generated from cluster and band structure calculations. This study compliments earlier published studies from this research group using achromatic radiation, and demonstrates how the use of monochromatic X radiation allows a more conclusive distinction to be made among oxidized aluminum species.

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