Surface Charge—Induced Ordering of the Au(111) Surface

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Science  13 Mar 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5050, pp. 1416-1418
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5050.1416


Synchrotron surface x-ray scattering (SXS) studies have been carried out at the Au(lll)/electrolyte interface to determine the influence of surface charge on the microscopic arrangement of gold surface atoms. At the electrochemical interface, the surface charge density can be continuously varied by controlling the applied potential. The top layer of gold atoms undergoes a reversible phase transition between the (1 x 1) bulk termination and a (23 x √3) reconstructed phase on changing the electrode potential. In order to differentiate the respective roles of surface charge and adsorbates, studies were carried out in 0.1 M NaF, NaCl, and NaBr solutions. The phase transition occurs at an induced surface charge density of 0.07 ± 0.02 electron per atom in all three solutions.