A metastable Fe(A) terminated Fe3O4(001) surface was prepared by tailoring the surface preparation conditions. STM, LEIS and LEED are utilized to demonstrate that annealing the Ar+ sputtered surface to 350 °C produces an Fe(A) terminated surface with a (√2 × √2)R45° superstructure. Within the superstructure both single Fe atoms and Fe dimer species are observed. The surface is reoxidized upon annealing to higher temperatures, eventually leading to the recovery of the energetically favorable Jahn-Teller distorted surface at 700 °C. The ability to reproducibly prepare the Fe(A) termination in this simple manner will allow investigations into the structure-function relationship for this important technological material.
(P)reprints available from M. Schmid (schmid) or U. Diebold (diebold).
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