CVV Auger electrons emitted from K, Rb and Cs layers are studied using spin-resolved spectroscopy. Oriented 3p, 4p and 5p hole states are excited by circularly polarized radiation in normal incidence. The photon energies range from 12 to 24 eV. With all three materials, the degree and sign of the Auger electron spin polarization vary with the photon energy. As an atomic model of the Auger process predicts, and as a comparison of measurements with the calculated densities of states shows, the spin polarization is essentially determined by the symmetry of the final states reached in the primary (photo)excitation. Just above the excitation threshold, the preferential spin direction of the Auger electrons is measured to be parallel to the spin of the exciting photons corresponding to a predominantly s-like symmetry of the unoccupied final states reached by the excitation. At higher photon energies the preferential spin direction changes to be antiparallel to the photon spin, corresponding to the mainly d-like symmetry of unoccupied states reached by the excitation.
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