Istituto dei materiali per l'elettronica ed il magnetismo     
Savio L., Smerieri M., Orzelli A., Vattuone L., Rocca M., Finocchi F., Jupille J. Common fingerprint of hydroxylated non-polar steps on MgO smoke and MgO films. In: Surface Science, vol. 604 (3-4) pp. 252 - 257. Elsevier, 2010.
The infrared spectra of MgO smoke exposed to water are compared to high-resolution electron energy loss spectra (HREELS) of hydroxylated ultrathin MgO(1 0 0)/Ag(1 0 0) films. Very similar bands are observed at 3458-3480 cm-1 and 3710-3714 cm-1. On the basis of first principle calculations, these bands are interpreted as the stretching modes of the two distinct OH groups that are formed at monatomic steps parallel to <1 0 0> crystallographic directions. The lower frequency band is due to H adsorbed on O at the step edge, while the higher frequency one originates from OH groups that are twofold coordinated with Mg. Consistently, scanning tunnelling microscopy images of MgO films, prepared in similar conditions as during the HREELS experiments, show that the MgO/Ag(1 0 0) island edges are mainly nonpolar, i.e. oriented along the <1 0 0> direction. In spite of that, a minor contribution to the OH-stretch intensity from hydroxylated polar <1 1 0> steps cannot be excluded; for such geometry density functional theory predicts indeed a single OH species with a vibrational frequency very close to the high-frequency band of OH adsorbed at <1 0 0> steps.
DOI: 10.1016/j.susc.2009.11.013
Subject Magnesium oxide (smoke, film), Hydroxylation, Vibrational spectroscopy, STM, DFT

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