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Physics  1995 

Water Chemisorption and Reconstruction of the MgO Surface

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.52.10823

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The observed reactivity of MgO with water is in apparent conflict with theoretical calculations which show that molecular dissociation does not occur on a perfect (001) surface. We have performed ab-initio total energy calculations which show that a chemisorption reaction involving a reconstruction to form a (111) hydroxyl surface is strongly preferred with Delta E = -90.2kJ/mol. We conclude that protonation stabilizes the otherwise unstable (111) surface and that this, not the bare (001), is the most stable surface of MgO under ambient conditions.


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