Atomic Relaxation at Ordered Electrochemical Surfaces Probed by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy: Au(111) in Aqueous Solution Compared with Ultrahigh-Vacuum Environments
PURDUE UNIV LAFAYETTE IN DEPT OF CHEMISTRY
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Detailed surface atomic rearrangements at the ordered Au111-aqueous interface triggered by negative electrode charges are examined by in-situ scanning tunneling microscopy STM. Not only the atomic reconstruction, but also the longer range superstructures, formed at this electrochemical interface are seen to be remarkably similar to those observed previously by STM on clean Au111 in ultrahigh vacuum. Understanding the atomic structures formed at ordered monocrystalline metal surfaces by reconstruction, both in the absence and presence of adsorbates or other means of modifying the surface environment, constitutes a centrally important topic in surface science. Almost all the experimental information on surface reconstruction gathered so far refers to metal-ultrahigh vacuum uhv interfaces, where electron diffraction and related techniques can be employed. Similar phenomena are anticipated at metal-solution i.e., electrochemical interfaces, where the electrode potential offers a powerful additional means of altering the chemical and electrostatic surface state.
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