A synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microprobe has been used to study the composition and microstructure of pulsed-laser ablationdeposited films of calcium-nickel-potassium oxides that have applications in heterogeneous catalysis. The films, whose individual metal oxide components have widely varying boiling points and thus prevent a solid-phase synthesis with the use of standard thermal techniques, represent a new quaternary metal oxide phase containing the three elements. Experimental conditions for preparing the films are given. The X-ray fluorescence microprobe data are discussed with respect to both the distribution of the three metals in the films at the micrometer lateral spatial resolution level and the presence of trace amounts of metals that were introduced into the films as contaminants in targets made of the parent three-metal oxide.

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