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Application Notes

Nitrogen • Non-Metals

Primary XPS region: N1s
Overlapping regions: Ta4p3/2, Mo3p3/2, Cd3d5/2
Binding energies of common chemical states:

Chemical state Binding energy Mg1s / eV
Metal nitrides ~397
NSi3 (Si3N4) 398.0
NSi2O 399.9
NSiO2 402.5
C-NH2 ~400
Nitrate >405

Experimental Information

Interpretation of XPS Spectra

General comments



crystal structureAbout This Element

Symbol: N
Date of Discovery: 1772
Name Origin: Greek nitron genes
Appearance: colorless
Discoverer: Daniel Rutherford
Obtained From: liquid air

Melting Point: 63.05 K
Boiling Point: 77.36 K
Density[kg/m3]: 1.2506
Molar Volume: 13.54 × 10-6 m3/mol
Protons/Electrons: 7
Neutrons: 7
Shell Structure: 2,5
Electron Configuration: [He]2s22p3
Oxidation State: ±3,5,4,2
Crystal Structure: Hexagonal

As a crucial part of amino and nucleic acids, nitrogen is vital to all forms of life. It was discovered by Daniel Rutherford in 1772. However, compounds of nitrogen were recognized in the Middle Ages. The mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids is able to dissolve gold. Normally a gas, nitrogen is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Found abundantly, nitrogen constitutes 78% of Earth’s atmosphere. The largest commercial use of nitrogen is in the form of ammonia. Nitrogen also provides an inert atmosphere in tanks containing explosive liquids. Liquid nitrogen is a common cryogen, used in the preservation of bodies and reproductive cells and for the storage of biological samples.

Application Notes

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