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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Nov 7;101(19):196101. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

Electron damage to supported ice investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy.

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  • 1Institut für Festkörperphysik, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Appelstrasse 2, D-30167 Hannover, Germany.


We study the interaction of low-energy electrons with crystalline ice (D2O) on Cu(111) by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. Electrons induce dissociation of the molecules with a threshold of approximately 3 eV. The large dissociation yield of the order of 10(-8)/electron and the extended area of dissociation are attributed to a shift in conduction band during the dissociation. Voltage dependent differences in imaging of ice and dissociated ice are reflected in the spectroscopic signature.

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