The (1×1) terminated (0001)-Zn surface of wurtzite ZnO was investigated with scanning tunneling microscopy. The surface is characterized by the presence of nanosized islands with a size-dependent shape and triangular holes with single-height, O-terminated step edges. It is proposed that the resulting overall decrease of the surface Zn concentration stabilizes this polar surface. Ab initio calculations of test geometries predict triangularly shaped reconstructions over a wide range of oxygen and hydrogen chemical potentials. The formation of these reconstructions appears to be electrostatically driven.
Reprints available from U. Diebold (diebold).
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