Strongly-bound oxygen on silver surfaces: A molybdenum oxide contamination?

R. Reichelt, S. Günther, J. Wintterlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


"Strongly-bound oxygen" or "Oγ" plays an important role in the literature on the Ag-catalyzed formaldehyde and ethylene oxide synthesis reactions. However, the high thermal stability of this oxygen species on Ag surfaces is an unsolved problem. We have investigated oxygen adsorption on an Ag(111) surface by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy. NO2 was used as oxygen source. By applying a special dosing procedure an oxygen species with EB(O 1s) = 529.5 eV was obtained that is close to the EB of the "strongly-bound oxygen". The species is stable up to >800 K. Several ordered surface structures were resolved, among others a (3√3 × 3√3)R30°, a (√52 × √52)R13.9°, and a quadratic structure. However, a small coexisting oxidic Mo 3d peak indicates that the species is caused by a Mo oxide contamination. During NO2 dosing, Mo oxide is transported from the sample holder to the sample surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17417-17428
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number35
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2011


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