Tip-Induced Control of Charge and Molecular Bonding of Oxygen Atoms on the Rutile TiO2 (110) Surface with Atomic Force Microscopy

Yuuki Adachi, Huan Fei Wen, Quanzhen Zhang, Masato Miyazaki, Yasuhiro Sugawara, Hongqian Sang, Jan Brndiar, Lev Kantorovich, Ivan Stich, Yan Jun Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


We study a low-temperature on-surface reversible chemical reaction of oxygen atoms to molecules in ultrahigh vacuum on the semiconducting rutile TiO2(110)-(1-1) surface. The reaction is activated by charge transfer from two sources, natural surface/subsurface polarons and experimental Kelvin probe force spectroscopy as a tool for electronic charge manipulation with single electron precision. We demonstrate a complete control over the oxygen species not attainable previously, allowing us to deliberately discriminate in favor of charge or bond manipulation, using either direct charge injection/removal through the tip-oxygen adatom junction or indirectly via polarons. Comparing our ab initio calculations with experiment, we speculate that we may have also manipulated the spin on the oxygens, allowing us to deal with the singlet/triplet complexities associated with the oxygen molecule formation. We show that the manipulation outcome is fully governed by three experimental parameters, vertical and lateral tip positions and the bias voltage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6917-6924
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
Early online date10 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019


  • bond manipulation
  • charge manipulation
  • density functional theory
  • Kelvin probe force spectroscopy
  • noncontact atomic force microscopy
  • oxygen adatom and molecule
  • rutile TiO(110)-(1-1) surface
  • spin manipulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Tip-Induced Control of Charge and Molecular Bonding of Oxygen Atoms on the Rutile TiO2 (110) Surface with Atomic Force Microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this