Observing structural distortions in complex oxides by x-ray photoelectron diffraction

Rosa Luca Bouwmeester, Thies Jansen*, Marieke Altena, Gertjan Koster, Alexander Brinkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)


The observation of structural distortions in complex oxides is becoming more important in order to explain their macroscopic behavior. X-ray photoelectron diffraction is an excellent technique to study the crystal structure and potentially observe oxygen distortions in an element-specific fashion. Its surface-sensitive character opens up the possibility to perform experiments on ultra-thin films without probing the substrate underneath. For BaBiO3 thin films, for example recent experimental results point towards a suppression of an oxygen breathing mode with decreasing film thickness resulting in a decreased energy band gap. As another example, a nontrivial electronic band structure is predicted for [111]-bilayers of LaMnO3. However, the likely presence of a Jahn–Teller distortion would suppress the topological phase. Here, the working principle of x-ray photoelectron diffraction is described and the data analysis required afterwards is discussed. X-ray photoelectron diffraction interference patterns are obtained for various thicknesses of BaBiO3 and LaMnO3 thin films. Experimental results are compared with multiple-scattering simulations. Although, indications for the structural distortions are observed, we discuss limitations of the technique in quantifying the displacement of the oxygen atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147201
JournalJournal of electron spectroscopy and related phenomena
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Complex oxides
  • Distortions
  • Oxygen displacement
  • Perovskites
  • X-ray photoelectron diffraction
  • UT-Hybrid-D


Dive into the research topics of 'Observing structural distortions in complex oxides by x-ray photoelectron diffraction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this