Imaging of the Hydrogen Subsurface Site in Rutile TiO2

Georg H. Enevoldsen, Henry P. Pinto, Adam S. Foster, Mona C.R. Jensen, Werner A. Hofer, Bjørk Hammer, Jeppe V. Lauritsen, Flemming Besenbacher

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From an interplay between simultaneously recorded noncontact atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy images and simulations based on density functional theory, we reveal the location of single hydrogen species in the surface and subsurface layers of rutile TiO2. Subsurface hydrogen atoms (Hsub) are found to reside in a stable interstitial site as subsurface OH groups detectable in scanning tunneling microscopy as a characteristic electronic state but imperceptible to atomic force microscopy. The combined atomic force microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, and density functional theory study demonstrates a general scheme to reveal near surface defects and interstitials in poorly conducting materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number136103
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • AFM
  • STM
  • TiO2

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