SURFACE SCIENCE

An Evolving Oxide Structure

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Science  18 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5751, pp. 1091
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5751.1091c

One of the early triumphs of surface science was an explanation for the p(4 ×4) diffraction pattern observed when oxygen was adsorbed on the closest packed (111) surface of silver. In the mid-1970s, Rodiva and co-workers noted that the diagonal of the unit cell of the (111) surface of Ag2O was within 0.3% of being four times the distance between Ag atoms on the (111) surface of the metal. With various modifications (which led to a stoichiometry of Ag1.83O for the overlayer), many other studies, including scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, have supported a hexagonal overlayer model. Michaelidis et al. review the history of this problem and argue that the basic building block of the overlayer is more likely to be a pyramidal Ag3O4 unit. A number of nearly equivalent low-energy structures can be formed that are more stable in DFT calculations than the Ag1.83O model. — PDS

J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 23, 1487 (2005).

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