A detailed study of mixed silver-copper oxide AgCuO2 was performed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The state and ratio of elements on the surface at different probing depth was revealed using variable radiation energy. A non-uniform in-depth distribution of silver and copper states was established. Two silver states were detected on the initial surface: (1) highly oxidized Ag>1+ ions from AgCuO2 lattice and (2) impurity Ag0 metallic species. The appearance of metallic species was related to AgCuO2 surface reduction by adsorbed carbon admixtures during air-storage. It was shown that highly oxidized copper species can be identified by the analysis of shake-up satellites in Cu2p region during step-by-step exposure to X-rays. This approach, considering all spectral changes versus time, allowed us to reveal the presence of copper with the oxidation level higher than +2 on the initial AgCuO2 surface. It was found that a long-term exposure to intense X-rays significantly modifies the composition and state of the AgCuO2 surface. Possible causes of such modification are discussed in relation to the AgCuO2 reaction properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-309
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • AgCuO
  • High-valent copper
  • Mixed silver-copper oxide
  • Synchrotron radiation
  • XPS


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