Nonlinear least-squares curve fitting is used to analyze Ni 2p spectra obtained from various nickel-oxygen compounds and Ni/Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> catalysts. Apart from NiO, which shows a characteristic discrete satellite peak 2 eV from the main 2p<sub>3/2</sub> peak, all other spectra exhibit variable peak asymmetry assigned to multiplet splitting effects. By the use of a single extra peak to describe this asymmetry, the relative satellite/main peak intensity ratio can be used as an indication of the chemical state of nickel. Results for Ni/Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> catalysts agree with reduction studies from previous work about the nature of nickel species on the surfaces of these catalysts at various nickel loadings.
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