Engineering Polarons at Metal Oxide surfaces

Matt Watkins recently published a combined experimental / computational study examining polarons near the surface of titanium dioxide in Physical Review Letters.


A novel surface preparation technique, involving nearly 100 sputter/anneal cycles allowed Scanning Tunneling  Microscopy measurements of the polarons at temperatures as low as 4K. At 4K the polarons were frozen in location, in agreement with more recent electronic structure calculations.

It was also possible to manipulate the polarons, indirectly, via microscope induced motion of nearby oxygen ions. This offers the chance to examine these trapped electrons and their interactions in more detail and can have applications in memristor memory devices and photocatalysis.

Categories: Science, Updates

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