What are Auger electrons?

1 Answer
Sep 26, 2015

Auger electrons are electrons that are emitted when an electron from a higher energy level falls into a vacancy in an inner shell.


The process usually occurs when the atom is bombarded with high energy electrons.

If the collision ejects an inner-shell electron, an electron from a higher level will quickly drop to this lower level to fill the vacancy.

(from hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu)

Most of the time, the energy is released in the form of a photon.

But sometimes the energy is transferred to another electron, which is ejected from the atom.

This second ejected electron is called an Auger electron, after one of its discoverers, the French physicist Pierre Auger (pronounced more like oh'-zhay than aw'-ger).