Aqueous potassium chloride has been studied by synchrotron-radiation excited core-level photoelectron and Auger electron spectroscopy. In the Auger spectrum of the potassium ion, the main feature comprises the final states where two outer valence holes are localized on potassium. This spectrum exhibits also another feature at a higher kinetic energy which is related to final states where outer valence holes reside on different subunits. Through ab initio calculations for microsolvated clusters, these subunits have been assigned as potassium ions and the surrounding water molecules. The situation is more complicated in the Auger spectrum of the chloride anion. One-center and multicenter final states are present here as well but overlap energetically.
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