Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Applied Physics



First Advisor

Alexander H Weiss


Transition metal oxides (TMOs) exhibit a rich collection of interesting and intriguing properties which can be used for wide variety of applications. In this dissertation, I will discuss the first PAES measurements on vacuum anneal induced changes in the surface layers of Cu2O/Ta, Cu 2O/TCO and oxidized Cu(100) prepared by spray coated, electrochemically deposition and thermal oxidation techniques respectively. PAES measurements on Cu2O/TCO shows that the a very large increase in the intensity of the Cu (M2,3 VV) Auger peak after annealing at 250°C. Similar but significantly smaller changes were observed in the EAES spectra consistent with the fact that PAES is primarily sensitive to the top-most atomic layer due to the fact that the positrons are trapped just outside the surface prior to annihilation while EAES samples several atomic layers. While PAES measurements on oxidized Cu(100) show a large monotonic increase in the intensity of the annihilation induced Cu (M2,3 VV) Auger peak as the sample is subjected to a series of isochronal anneals in vacuum up to annealing temperature 300°C. The intensity then decreases monotonically as the annealing temperature is increase to ∼500°C. These results provide a clear demonstration of the thermal reduction of the copper oxide surface after annealing at 300°C followed by re-oxidation of the copper surface at the higher annealing temperatures presumably due to the diffusion of subsurface oxygen to the surface.


Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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