Step-edge-induced oxide growth during the oxidation of Cu surfaces.


Using in situ atomic-resolution electron microscopy observations, we report observations of the oxide growth during the oxidation of stepped Cu surfaces. Oxidation occurs via direct growth of Cu(2)O on flat terraces with Cu adatoms detaching from steps and diffusing across the terraces. This process involves neither reconstructive oxygen adsorption nor oxygen subsurface incorporation and is rather different from the mechanism of solid-solid transformation of bulk oxidation that is most commonly postulated. These results demonstrate that the presence of surface steps can promote the development of a flat metal-oxide interface by kinetically suppressing subsurface oxide formation at the metal-oxide interface.

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@article{Zhou2012StepedgeinducedOG, title={Step-edge-induced oxide growth during the oxidation of Cu surfaces.}, author={Guangwen Zhou and Langli Luo and Liang Li and Jim Ciston and Eric A Stach and Judith C. Yang}, journal={Physical review letters}, year={2012}, volume={109 23}, pages={235502} }