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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(10), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8100828

On the Structure of Ultrathin FeO Films on Ag(111)

1
NanoBioMedical Centre, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 85, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
2
Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Wrocław, Pl. M. Borna 9, 50-204 Wrocław, Poland
3
Institute of Molecular Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. Smoluchowskiego 17, 60-179 Poznań, Poland
4
Institute of Physics, Poznan University of Technology, Piotrowo 3, 60-965 Poznań, Poland
5
MTA-SZTE Reaction Kinetics and Surface Chemistry Research Group, University of Szeged, 6720 Szeged, Hungary
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 13 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Development of Nanostructured Thin Films)
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Abstract

Ultrathin transition metal oxide films exhibit unique physical and chemical properties not observed for the corresponding bulk oxides. These properties, originating mainly from the limited thickness and the interaction with the support, make those films similar to other supported 2D materials with bulk counterparts, such as transition metal dichalcogenides. Ultrathin iron oxide (FeO) films, for example, were shown to exhibit unique electronic, catalytic and magnetic properties that depend on the type of the used support. Ag(111) has always been considered a promising substrate for FeO growth, as it has the same surface symmetry, only ~5% lattice mismatch, is considered to be weakly-interacting and relatively resistant to oxidation. The reports on the growth and structure of ultrathin FeO films on Ag(111) are scarce and often contradictory to each other. We attempted to shed more light on this system by growing the films using different preparation procedures and studying their structure using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), low energy electron diffraction (LEED) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). We observed the formation of a previously unreported Moiré superstructure with 45 Å periodicity, as well as other reconstructed and reconstruction-free surface species. The experimental results obtained by us and other groups indicate that the structure of FeO films on this particular support critically depends on the films’ preparation conditions. We also performed density functional theory (DFT) calculations on the structure and properties of a conceptual reconstruction-free FeO film on Ag(111). The results indicate that such a film, if successfully grown, should exhibit tunable thickness-dependent properties, being substrate-influenced in the monolayer regime and free-standing-FeO-like when in the bilayer form. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron oxides; ultrathin films; silver; epitaxial growth; structural characterization; STM; LEED; XPS; DFT; model system iron oxides; ultrathin films; silver; epitaxial growth; structural characterization; STM; LEED; XPS; DFT; model system
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Lewandowski, M.; Pabisiak, T.; Michalak, N.; Miłosz, Z.; Babačić, V.; Wang, Y.; Hermanowicz, M.; Palotás, K.; Jurga, S.; Kiejna, A. On the Structure of Ultrathin FeO Films on Ag(111). Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 828.

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