Electron Transfer-Induced Dynamics of Oxygen Molecules on the TiO2(110) Surface

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Science  23 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5657, pp. 511-513
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093425

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Diffusion of oxygen molecules on transition metal oxide surfaces plays a vital role for the understanding of catalysis and photocatalysis on these materials. By means of time-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy, we provide evidence for a charge transfer–induced diffusion mechanism for O2 molecules adsorbed on a rutile TiO2(110) surface. The O2 hopping rate depended on the number of surface donors (oxygen vacancies), which determines the density of conduction band electrons. These results may have implications for the understanding of oxidation processes on metal oxides in general.

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