This paper focuses on determining a reasonable peak assignment for the N 1s spectrum of amorphous carbon nitride (a-CN) measured by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Unfortunately, several peaks of a-CN have not been identified, that is, there has yet to be any shared understanding of their chemical bonding states. We investigated this by monitoring changes in spectra before and after vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) irradiation, thus obtaining information about the changes of chemical bonds. The observed changes were discussed based on the chemical shifts of components of a-CN determined from ab-initio molecular orbital (MO) calculations. We have proposed the following peak assignment for N 1s. The peaks located at approximately (1) 397.6, (2) 398.2, (3) 399.0, (4) 400.0, (5) 400.9 and (6) 401.9 eV were assigned to the chemical bonding states of (1) β-C3N4, (2) pyridine, (3) formonitril, (4) methylmethyleneamine, (5) pyrido[2,1,6-de]quinolizine, and (6) a nitroso group. This assignment did not agree with oft-quoted ones. However, only this peak assignment provides a reasonable interpretation for the changes we observed in a-CN introduced by VUV irradiation, and allows us to understand the chemical bonding states of a-CN film.
R. Ohta, Kyunghwang Lee, N. Saito
Thin Solid Films