X-ray-induced reduction of a surfactant/polyoxotungstate hybrid compound

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Journal Article
Surface and Interface Analysis, 2018, 50 (12-13), pp. 1384 - 1388
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© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. We investigate the spontaneous reduction of a photochromic surfactant/polyoxotungstate hybrid during repeated X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) scans and show how this effect may confound attempts to use soft X-rays to characterise materials of this nature. The W4f core-level spectra revealed a progressive increase of W5+ and W4+ species at the expense of W6+ as irradiation time increased. The samples developed a blue colour attributed to the presence of W4+ and/or W5+. The progressive photoreduction is also associated with a shift of the W6+ peak within the W4f spectrum to lower binding energies. This work highlights the need to consider inadvertent changes in oxidation state during X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy characterisation of samples containing photoreducible transition metals.
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