- Previous Article
- Next Article
- Table of Contents
Applied Catalysis A: General, Vol.582, 2019
The partial reduction of clean and doped alpha-Fe2O3(0001) from first principles
Fe surfaces have a wide range of applications due to the ability of Fe to be present in a number of different oxidation states, which can be further influenced by the presence of dopants that change the energetic and electronic surface properties. Thus, having an understanding of the elementary reduction processes of clean Fe oxide surfaces, and how dopants affect the energetics and electronics of such processes, is crucial to the science guided design and optimization of said surfaces. In this work, we use density functional theory (DFT) to investigate the partial reduction of alpha-Fe2O3(0001) in the absence and presence of Pd and Pt dopants. In order to account for the strong on-site Coulombic interactions present in transition metal oxides, we used both the DFT + U method and 2006 Heyd-Scuseria-Emzerhof functional and compare the results obtained from the different methods. We find that oxygen vacancies created in the clean alpha-Fe2O3(0001) surface prefer to diffuse into a subsurface layer, with the charge left behind from the first surface oxygen vacancy distributing between all of the near surface Fe atoms. The addition of Pd or Pt to the alpha-Fe2O3(0001) surface significantly decreases the energy required to create the first surface oxygen vacancy, suggesting the dopants intrinsically promote the reduction of alpha-Fe2O3(0001). Additionally, the presence of the dopants caused the charge left behind by the creation of the first surface oxygen vacancy to be localized on the dopant itself as well as the highest Fe atom. Overall, this work provides insight into the elementary energetic and electronic properties of the fully oxidized and partially reduced alpha-Fe2O3(0001) surface in the absence and presence of Pd and Pt dopants, which has potential implications for the design and optimization of doped Fe oxide surfaces.