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The Oxidation of Fe(111)




The oxidation of Fe(111) was studied using Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), low energy electron diffraction (LEED), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), ion scattering spectroscopy (ISS) and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). Oxidation of the crystal was found to be a very fast process, even at 200 K, and the Auger O signal saturation level is reached within ~ 50 × 10− 6 mbar s. Annealing the oxidised surface at 773 K causes a significant decline in apparent surface oxygen concentration and produces a clear (6 × 6) LEED pattern, whereas after oxidation at ambient temperature no pattern was observed. STM results indicate that the oxygen signal was reduced due to the nucleation of large, but sparsely distributed oxide islands, leaving mainly the smooth (6 × 6) structure between the islands. The reactivity of the (6 × 6) layer towards methanol was investigated using temperature programmed desorption (TPD), which showed mainly decomposition to CO and CO2, due to the production of formate intermediates on the surface. Interestingly, this removes the (6 × 6) structure by reduction, but it can be reformed from the sink of oxygen present in the large oxide islands simply by annealing at 773 K for a few minutes. The (6 × 6) appears to be a relatively stable, pseudo-oxide phase, that may be useful as a model oxide surface.

Author(s): Davies, Robert and Edwards, Dyfan and Gräfe, Joachim and Gilbert, Lee and Davies, Philip and Hutchings, Graham and Bowker, Michael
Journal: Surface Science
Volume: 605
Number (issue): 17-18
Pages: 1754-1762
Year: 2011

Department(s): Modern Magnetic Systems
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Journal

DOI: 10.1016/j.susc.2011.06.017


  title = {The Oxidation of Fe(111)},
  author = {Davies, Robert and Edwards, Dyfan and Gr{\"a}fe, Joachim and Gilbert, Lee and Davies, Philip and Hutchings, Graham and Bowker, Michael},
  journal = {Surface Science},
  volume = {605},
  number = {17-18},
  pages = {1754-1762},
  year = {2011}