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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Direct Probing of Oxygen Loss from the Surface Lattice of Correlated Oxides during Hydrogen Spillover.

  • Author(s): Yoon, Hyojin;
  • Kim, Yongjin;
  • Crumlin, Ethan J;
  • Lee, Donghwa;
  • Ihm, Kyuwook;
  • Son, Junwoo
  • et al.

Hydrogen spillover is a catalytic process that occurs by surface reaction and subsequent diffusion to reversibly provide a massive amount of hydrogen dopants in correlated oxides, but the mechanism at the surface of correlated oxides with metal catalyst are not well understood. Here we show that a significant amount of oxygen is released from the surface of correlated VO2 films during hydrogen spillover, contrary to the well-established observation of the formation of hydrogen interstitials in the bulk part of VO2 films. By using ambient-pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, we prove that the formation of surface oxygen vacancies is a consequence of a favorable reaction for the generation of weakly adsorbed H2O from surface O atoms that have low coordination and weak binding strength. Our results reveal the importance of in situ characterization to prove the dynamic change during redox reaction and present an opportunity to control intrinsic defects at the surface.

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