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Well-ordered iron oxide and sulfide thin films: growth methods and characterisation


Davis,  Earl
Chemical Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Davis, E. (2018). Well-ordered iron oxide and sulfide thin films: growth methods and characterisation. PhD Thesis, Technische Universität, Berlin.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-B263-5
In this thesis, the growth of iron oxide and iron sulfide thin films has been investigated. These are materials that are abundantly found in the earth's crust and have long been studied by humanity, having a wide range of properties that have seen their use in many applications.
Among these applications, iron oxides have played an important role in catalytic processes such as the Haber-Bosch process. Surface science techniques are applied to gain insight into structure and reactivity at the atomic scale. Some of these techniques require a single-crystalline thin film. In this thesis, a growth recipe for high-quality Fe3O4(0 0 1) thin films on a Pt(0 0 1) substrate is presented. Additionally, it was discovered that the surface termination of Fe3O4(0 0 1) thin films can be tuned via different thicknesses of a buffer layer included in the growth process.
Iron sulfides play a role in many biogeochemical processes, as well as being involved in industrial processes such as froth flotation. Furthermore, their presence in various locales such as undersea hydrothermal vents and iron-sulfur reaction centres in various enzymes have led to speculation that iron sulfides were involved in processes leading to the first metabolic organisms. Despite the interest in iron sulfides coming from many areas of science, surface science studies of their surfaces are rare. With the exception of pyrite (FeS2), the production of high-quality single-crystalline samples is difficult. This thesis presents a reproducible growth recipe that allows well-ordered iron sulfide thin films to be prepared and studied using surface science techniques. Furthermore, surface science techniques and x-ray diffraction (XRD) are used in characterising the thin film, revealing a NiAs structure with an Fe occupancy of 77 %.