Analysis of Atomic and Electronic Structures of NiO/Au Interfaces by High-Resolution MEIS and Photoelectron Spectroscopy


The atomic and electronic structures of NiO(001)/Au(001) interfaces were analyzed by high-resolution medium energy ion scattering (MEIS) and photoelectron spectroscopy using synchrotron-radiation-light. The MEIS analysis clearly showed that O atoms were located above Au atoms at the interface and the inter-planar distance of NiO(001)/Au(001) was derived to be 2.30±0.05Å, which were consistent with the calculations based on the density functional theory (DFT). We measured the valence band spectra and found metallic features for the NiO thickness up to 3 monolayer (ML). Relevant to the metallic features, electron energy loss analysis revealed that the band gap for NiO(001)/Au(001) reduced with decreasing the NiO thickness from 10 down to 5 ML. We also observed Au 4f lines consisting of surface, bulk, and interface components and found a significant electronic charge transfer from Au(001) to NiO(001). The present DFT calculations demonstrated the presence of an image charge beneath Ni atoms at the interface just like alkali-halide/metal interface, which may be a key issue to explain the core level shift and band structure.