Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Applied Physics



First Advisor

Alexander H Weiss


Measurements of the secondary electron energy spectra resulting from very low energy positron bombardment of a polycrystalline Au and Cu (100) surfaces are presented that provide evidence for a single step transition from an unbound scattering state to an image potential bound state. The primary positron energy threshold for secondary electron emission and energy cutoff of the positron induced secondary electron energy peak are consistent with an Auger like process in which an incident positron make a transition from a scattering state to a surface-image potential bound while transferring all of the energy difference to an outgoing secondary electron. We term this process: the Auger mediated quantum sticking effect (AQSE). The intensities of the positron induced secondary electron peak are used to estimate the probability of this process as a function of incident positron energy. Positron annihilation induced Auger spectra (PAES) of Cu and Au are presented that are free of all primary beam induced secondary electron background. This background was eliminated by setting the positron beam energy below AQSE threshold. The background free PAES spectra obtained include the first measurements of the low energy tail of CVV Auger transitions all the way down to zero kinetic energy. The integrated intensity of this tail is several times larger than Auger peak itself which provides strong evidence for multi-electron Auger processes


Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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