XPS analysis of phosphorous is typically performed on the P 2p region which may overlap with Sr 3d peaks or with the Zn 3s peak if the phosphorous has a high oxidation state. The doublet separation of P 2p is 0.86 eV.

Figure 1: High resolution P 2p XP spectra from GaP showing the 0.86 eV splitting(1)

There exists a relatively sizable energy separation between phosphorous states of varying oxidation, permitting relatively trivial deconvolution. Table 1 presents a range of binding energies for common phosphorous species.

Species Binding energy / eV Charge Ref. Ref.
P (black) 130.06 Au 4f / 83.95 eV 2
P2O5 135 C 1s / 284.6 eV 3
GaP 128.3 Au 4f / 83.95 eV 4
Table 1: Common binding energies for P


  1. Data acquired by HarwellXPS
  2. Edmonds, M. T., et al. (2015). “Creating a stable oxide at the surface of black phosphorus.” ACS applied materials & interfaces 7(27): 14557-14562. Read it online here.
  3. Wang, Y. and P. M. Sherwood (2002). “Phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) by XPS.” Surface Science Spectra 9(1): 159-165. Read it online here.
  4. Liu, K., et al. (2004). “Surface analysis of (NH2) 2CS‐treated GaP (001) by AES and XPS.” Surface and Interface Analysis: An International Journal devoted to the development and application of techniques for the analysis of surfaces, interfaces and thin films 36(8): 966-968. Read it online here.