Zhongyu Yang

Date of Award


Level of Access

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Brian Frederick

Second Committee Member

Peter Kleban

Third Committee Member

Robert Lad


This thesis describes the design, experimental performance, and theoretical simulation of a novel time-of-flight analyzer that was integrated into a high resolution electron energy loss spectrometer (TOF-HREELS). First we examined the use of an interleaved comb chopper for chopping a continuous electron beam. Both static and dynamic behaviors were simulated theoretically and measured experimentally, with very good agreement. The finite penetration of the field beyond the plane of the chopper leads to non-ideal chopper response, which is characterized in terms of an "energy corruption" effect and a lead or lag in the time at which the beam responds to the chopper potential. Second we considered the recovery of spectra from pseudo-random binary sequence (PRBS) modulated TOF-HREELS data. The effects of the Poisson noise distribution and the non-ideal behavior of the "interleaved comb" chopper were simulated. We showed, for the first time, that maximum likelihood methods can be combined with PRBS modulation to achieve resolution enhancement, while properly accounting for the Poisson noise distribution and artifacts introduced by the chopper. Our results indicate that meV resolution, similar to that of modern high resolution electron energy loss spectrometers, can be achieved with a dramatic performance advantage over conventional, serial detection analyzers. To demonstrate the capabilities of the TOF-HREELS instrument, we made measurements on a highly oriented thin film polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) sample. We demonstrated that the TOF-HREELS can achieve a throughput advantage of a factor of 85 compared to the conventional HREELS instrument. Comparisons were made between the experimental results and theoretical simulations. We discuss various factors which affect inversion of PRBS modulated Time of Flight (TOF) data with the Lucy algorithm. Using simulations, we conclude that the convolution assumption was good under the conditions of our experiment. The chopper rise time, Poisson noise, and artifacts of the chopper response are evaluated. Finally, we conclude that the maximum likelihood algorithms are able to gain a multiplex advantage in PRBS modulation, despite the Poisson noise in the detector.