We describe the development and applications of novel instrumentation for photoemission spectroscopy of solid or liquid surfaces in the presence of gases under ambient conditions of pressure and temperature. The new instrument overcomes the strong scattering of electrons in gases by the use of an aperture close to the surface followed by a differentially-pumped electrostatic lens system. In addition to the scattering problem, experiments in the presence of condensed water or other liquids require the development of special sample holders to provide localized cooling. We discuss the first two generations of Ambient Pressure PhotoEmission Spectroscopy (APPES) instruments developed at synchrotron light sources (ALS in Berkeley and BESSY in Berlin), with special focus on the Berkeley instruments. Applications to environmental science and catalytic chemical research are illustrated in two examples. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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