Atomic species identification at the (101) anatase surface by simultaneous scanning tunnelling and atomic force microscopy

Oleksandr Stetsovych, A. Milica Todorovi, Tomoko K. Shimizu, César Moreno, James William Ryan, Carmen Pérez León, Keisuke Sagisaka, Emilio Palomares, Vladimír Matolín, Daisuke Fujita, Ruben Perez, Oscar Custance

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33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anatase is a pivotal material in devices for energy-harvesting applications and catalysis. Methods for the accurate characterization of this reducible oxide at the atomic scale are critical in the exploration of outstanding properties for technological developments. Here we combine atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), supported by first-principles calculations, for the simultaneous imaging and unambiguous identification of atomic species at the (101) anatase surface. We demonstrate that dynamic AFM-STM operation allows atomic resolution imaging within the materiala € s band gap. Based on key distinguishing features extracted from calculations and experiments, we identify candidates for the most common surface defects. Our results pave the way for the understanding of surface processes, like adsorption of metal dopants and photoactive molecules, that are fundamental for the catalytic and photovoltaic applications of anatase, and demonstrate the potential of dynamic AFM-STM for the characterization of wide band gap materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7265
JournalNature communications
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 29

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Stetsovych, O., Todorovi, A. M., Shimizu, T. K., Moreno, C., Ryan, J. W., León, C. P., Sagisaka, K., Palomares, E., Matolín, V., Fujita, D., Perez, R., & Custance, O. (2015). Atomic species identification at the (101) anatase surface by simultaneous scanning tunnelling and atomic force microscopy. Nature communications, 6, [7265]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8265