Letter abstract


Nature Materials 7, 473 - 477 (2008)
Published online: 11 May 2008 | doi:10.1038/nmat2198

Subject Categories: Electronic materials | Catalytic materials | Surface and thin films

Direct in situ determination of the polarization dependence of physisorption on ferroelectric surfaces

Dongbo Li1,1, Mosha H. Zhao2,1, J. Garra1, A. M. Kolpak3, A. M. Rappe3, D. A. Bonnell1 & J. M. Vohs2

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The ability to manipulate dipole orientation in ferroelectric oxides holds promise as a method to tailor surface reactivity for specific applications. As ferroelectric domains can be patterned at the nanoscale1, domain-specific surface chemistries may provide a method for fabrication of nanoscale devices. Although studies over the past 50 yr have suggested that ferroelectric domain orientation may affect the energetics of adsorption, definitive evidence is still lacking2, 3, 4, 5. Domain-dependent sticking coefficients are observed using temperature-programmed desorption and scanning surface potential microscopy, supported by first-principles calculations of the reaction coordinate. The first unambiguous observations of differences in the energetics of physisorption on ferroelectric domains are presented here for CH3OH and CO2 on BaTiO3 and Pb(Ti0.52Zr0.48)O3 surfaces.

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  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; The Makineni Theoretical Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
  2. These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: J. M. Vohs2 e-mail: vohs@seas.upenn.edu



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