Thin oxide films (from one to tens of monolayers) of SiO, MgO, NiO, AlO, FeO, and TiO supported on refractory metal substrates have been prepared by depositing the oxide metal precursor in a background of oxygen (ca 1 × 10−5 Torr). The thinness of these oxide samples facilitates investigation by an array of surface techniques, many of which are precluded when applied to the corresponding bulk oxide. Layered and mixed binary oxides have been prepared by sequential synthesis of dissimilar oxide layers or co-deposition of two different oxides. Recent work has shown that the underlying oxide substrate can markedly influence the electronic and chemical properties of the overlayer oxide.

The structural, electronic, and chemical properties of these ultrathin oxide films have been probed using Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electron energy loss spectroscopy (ELS), ion-scattering spectroscopy (ISS), high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS), infrared reflectance absorption spectroscopy (IRAS), temperature-programmed desorption (TPD), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS).


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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