Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Atomic Structure of Ultrathin Germania Films
by Lewandowski, Adrián Leandro, Ph.D., Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany), 2019, 126; 27771611
Abstract (Summary)

The preparation of metal-supported ultrathin films of germanium dioxide, termed also germania, has been successfully achieved for the first time. The structure of the films is elucidated with atomic precision and chemical sensitivity using surface science techniques. The investigation is performed by analyzing STM images and is complemented by low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) patterns, a dynamical LEED study, and external support from density functional theory (DFT) calculations.

In this work, we compare side-by-side atomically-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) images of ultrathin films of germania and silica. The analysis aims to investigate the impact of the metal support on the structure of oxide films. For that purpose, ultrathin germania films are grown on Ru(0001), Pt(111) and Au(111), and compared with previously reported silica ultrathin films supported on different substrates. Germania has been widely associated with silica since they are considered to be structural and chemical equivalent materials.

Three main network structures have been characterized: monolayer, zigzag and bilayer films. In all systems, the building block consists of a distorted tetrahedron with a germanium atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms. Adjacent tetrahedra connect to each other through Ge-O-Ge bonds and, in the case of the monolayer films, they also bind to the metal support. Conversely, in bilayer films there are no chemical bonds to the metal substrate, thus providing more flexibility to the film structure. Through a meticulous control of the preparation conditions one can obtain a purely crystalline phase, an amorphous one, or one with intermediate order. It is important to highlight that the amorphous germania bilayer film represents a new 2-dimensional amorphous material.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Freund , Hans-Joachim , Rademann , Klaus , Sterrer , Martin
School: Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany)
School Location: Germany
Source: DAI-C 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Condensed matter physics
Keywords: Ultrathin films
Publication Number: 27771611
ISBN: 9781392814772
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