The electronic structures of epitaxially grown films of Ti3AlC2, Ti3 SiC2, and Ti3GeC2 have been investigated by bulk-sensitive soft x-ray emission spectroscopy. The measured high-resolution Ti L, C K, Al L, Si L, and Ge M emission spectra are compared with ab initio density-functional theory including core-to-valence dipole matrix elements. A qualitative agreement between experiment and theory is obtained. A weak covalent Ti-Al bond is manifested by a pronounced shoulder in the Ti L emission of Ti3AlC2. As Al is replaced with Si or Ge, the shoulder disappears. For the buried Al and Si layers, strongly hybridized spectral shapes are detected in Ti3AlC2 and Ti3SiC2, respectively. As a result of relaxation of the crystal structure and the increased charge-transfer from Ti to C, the Ti-C bonding is strengthened. The differences between the electronic structures are discussed in relation to the bonding in the nanolaminates and the corresponding change of materials properties.
Magnuson, M., Palmquist, J. P., Mattesini, M., Li, S., Ahuja, R., Eriksson, O., … Jansson, U. (2005). Electronic structure investigation of Ti3AlC2, Ti3SiC2, and Ti3GeC2 by soft x-ray emission spectroscopy. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 72(24). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.72.245101