We observe the nucleation of a vapor-phase surface reaction in proportion to defects on the surface of TiO2. This new precision in surface synthesis is consistent with atomic-site-selective growth exclusively at oxygen vacancies, as predicted by computational modeling.
Significance and Impact
Our “selective hydration” approach provides a promising route to target electronically unfavorable surface sites (including oxygen vacancies) with atom-scale specificity. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) has long offered atomic thickness control, to which we now add lateral position control, to preserve nearby electronically desirable sites.
- The first site-selective ALD process on an oxide substrate
- An island growth model for nucleation is consistent with in situ ellipsometry and atomic force microscopy (AFM)
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