Subsurface cation vacancy stabilization of the magnetite (001) surface

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Bliem R, Mcdermott E, Ferstl P, Setvin M, Gamba O, Pavelec J, Schneider MA, Schmid M, Diebold U, Blaha P, Hammer L, Parkinson GS
Journal: Science
Publication year: 2014
Volume: 346
Journal issue: 6214
Pages range: 1215-1218
ISSN: 0036-8075
eISSN: 1095-9203
Language: English


Iron oxides play an increasingly prominent role in heterogeneous catalysis, hydrogen production, spintronics, and drug delivery. The surface or material interface can be performance-limiting in these applications, so it is vital to determine accurate atomic-scale structures for iron oxides and understand why they form. Using a combination of quantitative low-energy electron diffraction, scanning tunneling microscopy, and density functional theory calculations, we show that an ordered array of subsurface iron vacancies and interstitials underlies the well-known (root 2 x root 2)R45 degrees reconstruction of Fe3O4(001). This hitherto unobserved stabilization mechanism occurs because the iron oxides prefer to redistribute cations in the lattice in response to oxidizing or reducing environments. Many other metal oxides also achieve stoichiometry variation in this way, so such surface structures are likely commonplace.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Ferstl, Pascal
Professur für Experimentalphysik
Hammer, Lutz Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Festkörperphysik
Schneider, M. Alexander Prof. Dr.
Professur für Experimentalphysik

External institutions
Vienna University of Technology

How to cite

Bliem, R., Mcdermott, E., Ferstl, P., Setvin, M., Gamba, O., Pavelec, J.,... Parkinson, G.S. (2014). Subsurface cation vacancy stabilization of the magnetite (001) surface. Science, 346(6214), 1215-1218.

Bliem, R., et al. "Subsurface cation vacancy stabilization of the magnetite (001) surface." Science 346.6214 (2014): 1215-1218.


Last updated on 2018-10-08 at 14:25