Oxygen-Mediated Diffusion of Oxygen Vacancies on the TiO2(110) Surface

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Science  17 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5605, pp. 377-379
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078962

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Defects such as oxygen vacancies play a crucial role in the surface properties of transition metal oxides. By means of time-resolved, high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy, we unraveled an adsorbate-mediated diffusion mechanism of oxygen vacancies on rutile TiO2(110). Adsorbed oxygen molecules mediate vacancy diffusion through the loss of an oxygen atom to a vacancy and the sequential capture of an oxygen atom from a neighboring bridging oxygen row, leading to an anisotropic oxygen vacancy diffusion pathway perpendicular to the bridging oxygen rows.

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