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Issue 39, 2010
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Unravelling the atomic structure of cross-linked (1 × 2) TiO2(110)

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The cross-linked (1 × 2) reconstruction of TiO2(110) is a frequently observed phase reflecting the surface structure of titania in a significantly reduced state. Here we resolve the atomic scale structure of the cross-linked (1 × 2) phase with dynamic scanning force microscopy operated in the non-contact mode (NC-AFM). From an analysis of the atomic-scale contrast patterns of the titanium and oxygen sub-structures obtained by imaging the surface with AFM tips having different tip apex termination, we infer the hitherto most accurate model of the atomic structure of the cross-linked (1 × 2) phase. Our findings suggest that the reconstruction is based on added rows in [001] direction built up of Ti3O6 units with an uninterrupted central string of oxygen atoms accompanied by a regular sequence of cross-links consisting of linear triples of additional oxygen atoms in between the rows. The new insight obtained from NC-AFM solves previous controversy about the cross-linked TiO2(110) surface structure, since previously proposed models based on cross-links with a lower O content do not appear to be consistent with the atom-resolved data presented here. Instead, our measurements strongly support the Ti3O6 motif to be the structural base of the cross-linked (1 × 2) reconstruction of TiO2(110).

Graphical abstract: Unravelling the atomic structure of cross-linked (1 × 2) TiO2(110)

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Article information

08 Apr 2010
01 Jul 2010
First published
17 Aug 2010

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 12436-12441
Article type

Unravelling the atomic structure of cross-linked (1 × 2) TiO2(110)

H. H. Pieper, K. Venkataramani, S. Torbrügge, S. Bahr, J. V. Lauritsen, F. Besenbacher, A. Kühnle and M. Reichling, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 12436
DOI: 10.1039/C0CP00160K

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