The adsorption of H on the magnetite (001) surface was studied with photoemission spectroscopies, scanning tunneling microscopy, and density-functional theory. At saturation coverage the insulating (√2 × √2)R45° reconstruction is lifted and the surface undergoes a semiconductor-half metal transition. This transition involves subtle changes in the local geometric structure linked to an enrichment of Fe2+ cations at the surface. The ability to manipulate the electronic properties by surface engineering has important implications for magnetite-based spintronic devices.
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Corresponding author: Ulrike Diebold (diebold).
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