Research Article


2013, 6(12): 929–937


Writing with atoms: Oxygen adatoms on the MoO2/Mo(110) surface

Sergey A. Krasnikov1 (), Olaf Lübben1, Barry E. Murphy1, Sergey I. Bozhko1,2, Alexander N. Chaika1,2, Natalia N. Sergeeva3, Brendan Bulfin1, and Igor V. Shvets1

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1 Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
2 Institute of Solid State Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Chernogolovka, Moscow District 142432, Russia
3 School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

Keywords: scanning tunnelling microscopy, inelastic tunnelling, atom manipulation, molybdenum oxide
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  • Abstract
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Writing at the nanoscale using the desorption of oxygen adatoms from the oxygen-rich MoO2+x/Mo(110) surface is demonstrated by scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). High-temperature oxidation of the Mo(110) surface results in a strained, bulk-like MoO2(010) ultra-thin film with an O–Mo–O trilayer structure. Due to the lattice mismatch between the Mo(110) and the MoO2(010), the latter consists of well-ordered molybdenum oxide nanorows separated by 2.5 nm. The MoO2(010)/Mo(110) structure is confirmed by STM data and density functional theory calculations. Further oxidation results in the oxygen-rich MoO2+x/Mo(110) surface, which exhibits perfectly aligned double rows of oxygen adatoms, imaged by STM as bright protrusions. These adatoms can be removed from the surface by scanning (or pulsing) at positive sample biases greater than 1.5 V. Tip movement along the surface can be used for controlled lithography (or writing) at the nanoscale, with a minimum feature size of just 3 nm. By moving the STM tip in a predetermined fashion, information can be written and read by applying specific biases between the surface and the tip.
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Writing with atoms: Oxygen adatoms on the MoO2/Mo(110) surface. Nano Res. 2013, 6(12): 929–937

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