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From what I understand, to get clear peaks, $\ce{Pt}$ is analyzed at $\ce{Pt}$ 4f; and $\ce{Ru}$ at $\ce{Pt}$ 3d.

However, if i'm not mistaken, charge correction is needed.

But $\ce{Ru}$ 3d(280/284 eV) overlaps with $\ce{C}$ 1s(284 eV), therefore I cannot use $\ce{C}$ 1s for charge correction. Hence, I mix in some $\ce{Au}$ powder and use $\ce{Au}$ 4f(84 eV) for charge correction and then analyze $\ce{Ru}$ at $\ce{Ru}$ 3p(461eV).

But now, $\ce{Au}$ 5p(74 eV) overlaps with $\ce{Au}$ 4f(74 eV) so I cannot analyze at $\ce{Pt}$ 4f and I try to analyze at $\ce{Pt}$ 4p(519 eV).

However, my problem is that I'm not getting clear enough peaks. The obvious thing I can think to do is increase the number of scans or lengthen the dwell time.

But I was wondering if there are other solutions other people usually do that I might be missing. I do see some papers that try to deconvolute $\ce{Pt}$ and $\ce{C}$ in the same region, but my professor says that this is an incorrect method because it is impossible to consider the correct charge correction that way.

Does anyone have any suggestion on how I should proceed?

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    $\begingroup$ Despite resources like this, especially the numbers in parentheses (e.g., in Ru3d(280/284)) are difficult to understand. You may ease the reader's access to your problem if the relevant parts of the language of your special question is explained briefly. Possibly an image / a diagram may illustrate your problem further. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Apr 16, 2021 at 10:36

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However, my problem is that I'm not getting clear enough peaks. The obvious thing I can think of to do is increase the number of scans or lengthen the dwell time.

But I was wondering if there are other solutions other people usually do that I might be missing. I do see some papers that try to deconvolute Ru and C in the same region but my professor says that this is an incorrect method because it is impossible to consider the correct charge correction that way.

Do you have an Atlas of XPS spectrum of elements? Check the instrument's manual. I do recall CASA used to have element by element spectrum.

Thermo Fisher has one periodic XPS spectrum here. If gold is causing problems, choose another metal whose peaks do not overlap with your sample.

The only solution for weak signals is that you collect the data for a longer time (ensemble averaging).

Don't try deconvolution in XPS especially when it is peak fitting. Your mentor is right. It is not reliable. You can fit as many peaks as you like. There must be a rationale for fitting peaks in an analytical signal (you exactly know peak shapes, peak model, baseline etc.)

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