We present a detailed experimental characterization of ultra-thin platinum-oxide films formed on metallic Pt surfaces using O2 plasma treatment. A monotonic consumption of the metallic Pt by the O2 plasma is demonstrated by electrical resistance measurements of micron-wide, ultra-thin metallic Pt wires for the range of O2 plasma exposure times explored in this study. Conversely, angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AR-XPS) of the plasma-treated Pt reveals that the oxide layer formed on the Pt surface maintains a constant thickness over these exposure times. In combination, these data demonstrate that the O2 plasma treatment of Pt simultaneously forms and etches an ultra-thin platinum-oxide layer on the Pt surface. In addition, the AR-XPS data also reveals the oxide layer to be composed of two different platinum–oxygen compounds. Detailed analysis demonstrates a stratified structure for the ultra-thin platinum oxide, with the oxide ‘bulk’ being composed of PtO2, likely with PtO defects, and the exposed oxide surface being Pt(OH)y≈2 terminated after exposure to ambient conditions. The potential utility of using plasma oxidization to form ultra-thin platinum (or other metal) oxide films on nanoscale metal structures for nano- and molecular-electronic applications is discussed, along with other promising applications in technologies such as sensors and catalysts.

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Patrick LTM Frederix, Patrick D Bosshart, Terunobu Akiyama, Mohamed Chami, Maurizio R Gullo, Jason J Blackstock, Karin Dooleweerdt, Nico F de Rooij, Urs Staufer, Andreas Engel




Nanotechnology, (19)38, 384004.


Complex networks, Complex Systems, Computation and Language, and Computational Finance