Boron and nitrogen KVV Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and core level x‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) features are shown to be conspicuously different for the cubic and hexagonal phases of boron nitride, i.e., cBN and hBN, respectively. The origin and assignments of these features are discussed in terms of the valence band density of states and plasmon losses. Application of these results to the identification of the boron nitride phase formed by N+2 irradiation of boron and N+2 or Ar+ irradiation of cubic boron nitride are presented.

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