The interaction of O2 with the surface of polycrystalline gadolinium at the temperature range 300-670 K

S. Cohen, N. Shamir, M. H. Mintz, I. Jacob, S. Zalkind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Auger-Electron-Spectroscopy (AES) and Direct-Recoils-Spectrometry (DRS) were applied to study the interaction of O2 with a polycrystalline gadolinium surface, in the temperature range 300-670 K and oxygen pressure up to 2 × 10- 6 Torr. It has been found that initial uptake of oxygen, at coverage measurable by the techniques used here, results in rapid oxide island formation. The subsurface is believed to be a mixture of oxide particles and oxygen dissolved in the Gd metal, the latter being the mobile species, even at relatively low temperatures. Enhanced inward diffusion of oxygen starts as early as 420 K and dictates the surface oxygen concentration and effective thickness of the forming oxide. The oxygen accumulation rate at the near-surface region, as measured by the O(KLL) AES signal intensity, goes through a maximum as a function of temperature at 420 K. This is a result of the combination of still efficient oxygen chemisorption that increases surface occupation and slow inward diffusion. The thickest oxide, ∼ 1.7 nm, is formed at 300 K and its effective thickness was found to decrease with increasing temperature (due to oxygen dissolution into the metal bulk). Diffusion coefficients of the oxygen dissolution into the bulk were evaluated for various temperatures utilizing models for infinitely thin oxide layer and thick oxide layer, respectively. The best fit under our experimental procedure was obtained by the thick layer model, and the coefficients that were calculated are D0 = 2.2 × 10- 16m2s- 1 and Ea = 46kJ/mol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1594
Number of pages6
JournalSurface Science
Issue number15-16
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Adsorption
  • Diffusion
  • Gadolinium
  • Oxidation
  • Oxygen
  • Surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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