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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Atomic structure of a metal-supported two-dimensional germania film

  • Author(s): Lewandowski, AL;
  • Schlexer, P;
  • Büchner, C;
  • Davis, EM;
  • Burrall, H;
  • Burson, KM;
  • Schneider, WD;
  • Heyde, M;
  • Pacchioni, G;
  • Freund, HJ
  • et al.

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The growth and microscopic characterization of two-dimensional germania films is presented. Germanium oxide monolayer films were grown on Ru(0001) by physical vapor deposition and subsequent annealing in oxygen. We obtain a comprehensive image of the germania film structure by combining intensity-voltage low-energy electron diffraction (I/V-LEED) and ab initio density functional theory (DFT) analysis with atomic-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging. For benchmarking purposes, the bare Ru(0001) substrate and the (2×2)3O covered Ru(0001) were analyzed with I/V-LEED with respect to previous reports. STM topographic images of the germania film reveal a hexagonal network where the oxygen and germanium atom positions appear in different imaging contrasts. For quantitative LEED, the best agreement has been achieved with DFT structures where the germanium atoms are located preferentially on the top and fcc hollow sites of the Ru(0001) substrate. Moreover, in these atomically flat germania films, local site geometries, i.e., tetrahedral building blocks, ring structures, and domain boundaries, have been identified, indicating possible pathways towards two-dimensional amorphous networks.

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