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A new approach for the study of metal oxide surfaces has been developed, which makes possible the formation of various oxides under ultrahigh-vacuum conditions. The kinetics of the reactions and the surface oxidation states can be continuously monitored by using various surface analysis techniques. By using a galvanic cell, oxygen can be transported through a solid electrolyte to an iron film, and the oxidation states can be precisely controlled. Wustite (FexO), magnetite (Fe3O4), and hematite (αFe2O3) were formed and investigated, using Auger electron spectroscopy and electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA). The peak-to-peak heights for the iron and oxygen Auger transitions were found to correspond to the atomic concentrations, and the binding energies for the different oxide states were measured, using ESCA analysis. The low-energy iron Auger transitions were also monitored, and the appearance of a peak at 47 eV was associated with the formation of metallic iron in the oxygen-iron phase diagram.
surface analysis, Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), surface oxidation states, galvanic cell, Auger oxygen/iron ratios, iron oxides, phase diagram
Manager, Surface Science Laboratory, National-Standard Co., Niles, Mich.
Research scientist, Montedison-Instituto Richerche “G. Donegani,”, Novara,
technical staff, Rockwell International Science Center, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Professor, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio