Growth and oxidation of Au, Pt, Pd, Rh, Cu, Ru, Ni and Co layers of 0.3–4.3 nm thickness on Mo have been investigated with ARPES and AFM. Co and Ni layers oxidize while the Mo remains metallic. For nobler metals, the on top O and oxidation state of subsurface Mo increase, suggesting sacrificial e− donation by Mo. Au and Cu, in spite of their significantly lower surface free energy, grow in islands on Mo and actually promote Mo oxidation. Applications of the sacrificial oxidation in nanometer thin layers exist in a range of nanoscopic devices, such as nano-electronics and protection of e.g. multilayer X-ray optics for astronomy, medicine and lithography.
- Sacrificial oxidation