Step-orientation-dependent oxidation: from 1D to 2D oxides

J. Klikovits1, M. Schmid1, L.R. Merte1*, P. Varga3, R. Westerström2, A. Resta2, J. N. Andersen2, J. Gustafson2, A. Mikkelsen2, E. Lundgren2, F. Mittendorfer3, G. Kresse3

1 Institut für Allgemeine Physik, Technische Universität Wien, 1040 Wien, Austria
2 Dept. of Synchrotron Radiation Research, Lund University, 22100 Lund, Sweden
3 Fakultät für Physik, Universität Wien, 1090 Wien, Austria

Phys. Rev. Lett. 101 (2008) 266104

Using scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory, we have studied the initial oxidation of Rh(111) surfaces with two types of straight steps, having {100} and {111} microfacets. The one-dimensional (1D) oxide initially formed at the steps acts as a barrier impeding formation of the 2D oxide on the (111) terrace behind it. We demonstrate that the details of the structure of the 1D oxide govern the rate of 2D oxidation and discuss implications for oxidation of nanoparticles.

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

Users with online access to Phys. Rev. Lett can load the article from the publisher.