Self-limited growth of a thin oxide layer on Rh(111)

J. Gustafson1, A. Mikkelsen1, M. Borg1, E. Lundgren1, L. Köhler2, G. Kresse2, M. Schmid3, P. Varga3, J. Yuhara4, X. Torrelles5, C. Quirós6, J.N. Andersen1

1 Department of Synchrotron Radiation Research, Institute of Physics, Lund University, S-22100 Lund, Sweden
2 Institut f. Materialphysik and Centre for Computational Materials Science, Universität Wien, 1090 Wien, Austria
3 Institut für Allgemeine Physik, Technische Universität Wien, 1040 Wien, Austria
4Department of Physical Science and Engineering, Nagoya University, Nagoya, 464-8603, Japan
5Institut de Ciencia de Materials de Barcelona (C.S.I.C), 08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
6European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Bp 220, 38043 Grenoble Cedex, France

Phys. Rev. Lett. 92 (2004) 126102

The oxidation of the Rh(111) surface at oxygen pressures from 10-10 mbar to 0.5 bar and temperatures between 300 and 900 K has been studied on the atomic scale using a multi-method approach of experimental and theoretical techniques. Oxidation starts at the steps, resulting in a trilayer O-Rh-O surface oxide, which, although not thermodynamically stable, prevents further oxidation at intermediate pressures. A thick corundum-like Rh2O3 bulk oxide is only formed at significantly higher pressures and temperatures.

Corresponding author: J. Gustafson. Reprints also available from M. Schmid (schmid< encoded email address >).

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