The clean surfaces of several maximally valent transition metal oxides, namely TiO2, Nb2O5, V2O5 and WO3, have been reduced to the corresponding binary oxide during extended observation inside a 400 keV high-resolution electron microscope. Selected-area electron diffraction patterns and optical transforms direct from the high-resolution lattice images were used to identify the oxide, while electron energy loss spectra from a sample of V2O5 eliminated the possibility that the isostructural carbide had been formed. These reduced binary oxides have a defective rocksalt structure, and they are metallic in nature, which may thereby stifle further electron-stimulated desorption of oxygen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics