University of Oulu

Pal, J., Rawal, T., Smerieri, M., Hong, S., Alatalo, M., Savio, L., Vattuone, L., Rahman, T., Rocca, M. (2017) Adatom Extraction from Pristine Metal Terraces by Dissociative Oxygen Adsorption: Combined STM and Density Functional Theory Investigation of O/Ag(110). Physical Review Letters, 118 (22), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.226101

Adatom extraction from pristine metal terraces by dissociative oxygen adsorption : combined STM and density functional theory investigation of O/Ag(110)

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Author: Pal, Jagriti1,2; Rawal, Takat B.3; Smerieri, Marco1;
Organizations: 1IMEM-CNR, UOS Genova, Via Dodecaneso 33, 16146 Genova, Italy
2Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Genova, Via Dodecaneso 33, 16146 Genova, Italy
3Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816, USA
4Division of Physical Sciences, Brewton-Parker College, Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445, USA
5Center of Molecular Materials, Faculty of Science, P.O. Box 8000, FI-90400 University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Physical Society, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-04-03


The reconstruction and modification of metal surfaces upon O₂ adsorption plays an important role in oxidation processes and in gauging their catalytic activity. Here, we show by employing scanning tunneling microscopy and the ab initio density functional theory that Ag atoms are extracted from pristine (110) terraces upon O₂ dissociation, resulting in vacancies and in Ag-O complexes. The substrate roughening generates undercoordinated atoms and opens pathways to the Ag subsurface layer. With increasing O coverage, multiple vacancies give rise to remarkable structures. The mechanism is expected to be very general depending on the delicate interplay of energy and entropy, so that it may be active for other materials at different temperatures.

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Series: Physical review letters
ISSN: 0031-9007
ISSN-E: 1079-7114
ISSN-L: 0031-9007
Volume: 118
Issue: 22
Article number: 226101
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.226101
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
Funding: We acknowledge the financial support by International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) through a postdoctoral grant and of Compagnia San Paolo. [...] T. B. R., S. H., and T. S. R. thank Duy Le for fruitful discussion on simulated STM images and U.S. NSF for partial support under Grant No. CHE-1310327.
Copyright information: © 2017 American Physical Society.