The interface of GaP(100) and H2O studied by photoemission and reflection anisotropy spectroscopy
We study the initial interaction of adsorbed H2O with P-rich and Ga-rich GaP(100) surfaces. Atomically well defined surfaces are prepared by metal-organic vapour phase epitaxy and transferred contamination-free to ultra-high vacuum, where water is adsorbed at room temperature. Finally, the surfaces are annealed in vapour phase ambient. During all steps, the impact on the surface properties is monitored with in situ reflection anisotropy spectroscopy (RAS). Photoelectron spectroscopy and low-energy electron diffraction are applied for further in system studies. After exposure up to saturation of the RA spectra, the Ga-rich (2 × 4) surface reconstruction exhibits a sub-monolayer coverage in form of a mixture of molecularly and dissociatively adsorbed water. For the p(2 × 2)/c(4 × 2) P-rich surface reconstruction, a new c(2 × 2) superstructure forms upon adsorption and the uptake of adsorbate is significantly reduced when compared to the Ga-rich surface. Our findings show that microscopic surface reconstructions of GaP(100) greatly impact the mechanism of initial interface formation with water, which could benefit the design of e.g. photoelectrochemical water splitting devices.