X-ray Diffraction Study of the Ultrathin Al2O3 Layer on NiAl(110)

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Science  12 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5664, pp. 1652-1656
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094060

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Ultrathin Al2O3 layers on alloys are used as templates for model catalysts, tunneling barriers in electronic devices, or corrosion-resistant layers. The complex atomic structure of well-ordered alumina overlayers on NiAl(110) was solved by surface x-ray diffraction. The oxide layer is composed of a double layer of strongly distorted hexagonal oxygen ions that hosts aluminum ions on both octahedral and tetrahedral sites with equal probability. The alumina overlayer exhibits a domain structure that can be related to characteristic growth defects and is generated during the growth of a hexagonally ordered overlayer (Al2O3) on a body-centered cubic (110) substrate (NiAl).

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