In order to clarify the poisoning mechanism of the LaB6 cathode, the temperature dependence of oxidation on a single-crystal surface was examined by Auger electron spectroscopy. The oxidation gives the chemical effect on the La and B Auger peaks. Evidence from the Auger spectra indicates that the oxygen is more strongly bound to La ions than B ions on the surface. A correlation between the oxidation and the poisoning characteristics was established, and possible reasons for the correlation are discussed.
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