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Issue 8, 2018
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Temperature-dependent phase evolution of copper-oxide thin-films on Au(111)

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The formation of ultrathin copper oxide layers on an Au(111) surface is explored with scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory. Depending on the thermal treatment of as-grown Cu–O samples, a variety of thin-film morphologies is observed. Whereas 1D oxide stripes with Au[11[2 with combining macron]] and Au[1[1 with combining macron]0] orientation emerge at 450 and 550 K annealing, respectively, a planar (2 × 2) Cu–O network with specific domain structure develops at higher temperature. The latter is ascribed to a Cu3O2 honeycomb lattice with oxygen ions alternatingly located in surface and interface positions. Strain minimization and a thermodynamic preference for Cu-rich edges lead to the formation of structurally well-defined boundaries, delimiting either triangular, elongated or stripe-like Cu3O2 domains. The low-temperature phases compirse complex arrangements of hexagonal and square Cu–O units, similar to those found in Cu2O(111) and (100) surfaces, respectively. The transitions between different thin-film phases are driven by Cu dissolution in the gold crystal and O2 evaporation and therefore accompanied by a thinning of the oxide layer with increasing temperature.

Graphical abstract: Temperature-dependent phase evolution of copper-oxide thin-films on Au(111)

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The article was received on 14 Dec 2017, accepted on 01 Feb 2018 and first published on 01 Feb 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP08387D
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018,20, 5636-5643
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    Temperature-dependent phase evolution of copper-oxide thin-films on Au(111)

    C. Möller, H. Fedderwitz, C. Noguera, J. Goniakowski and N. Nilius, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, 20, 5636
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP08387D

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