Growth of intact water ice on Ru(0001) between 140 and 160 K: experiment and density-functional theory calculations

S. Haq, C. Clay, G. R. Darling, G. Zimbitas, A. Hodgson

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116 Citations (Scopus)


We report low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) and reflection absorption IR spectroscopy (RAIRS) results for water adsorption on Ru(0001) at temperatures between 140 and 160 K, where water forms intact hydrogen bonded structures on the surface. We find that H2 O and D2 O adsorption show identical behavior, with no evidence for a structural isotope effect. At low coverage LEED shows a diffuse (3×3)R30° pattern, which becomes sharp and intense only as the coverage reaches 0.6 to 0.67 monolayer. The LEED pattern becomes broadened and diffuse as the surface saturates with a coverage of 0.76 monolayer. In RAIRS the low-frequency bands associated with the out of plane libration of hydrogen bonded water appear at low coverage, with the water stretch and scissors bands appearing as broad bands only as the coverage is increased. Water adsorbs flat on Ru(0001) at low coverage, forming small clusters which buckle to create an extended, hydrogen bonded structure only as the adlayer is completed. The free OH(OD) stretch band appears only as the monolayer approaches completion, indicating flat or H-down adsorption up to 0.67 monolayer with H-up water appearing as the 3 structure compresses. Density functional calculations at low coverage find that water forms stable clusters with water adsorbed flat on the surface. Calculations for a complete 0.67 monolayer structure find water adsorbed near the Ru atop site in a hydrogen bonded honeycomb network, containing chains of "flat" lying water, linked by upright chains bonded "H down" in the hexagonal, hydrogen bonded superstructure. This structure is ∼20% more stable than the conventional ice bilayer structure and is expected to wet the Ru(0001) surface. We propose a model in which disordered, short chains of "flat" and H-down water are imbedded in a honeycomb network of hydrogen bonded water, which imposes long-range order on the adlayer but allows substantial local disorder, and discuss the agreement with existing experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115414
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2006


  • low-energy electron diffraction (LEED)
  • reflection absorption IR spectroscopy (RAIRS)
  • water adsorption
  • Ru(0001)
  • OH
  • H2O
  • water ice


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