Bonding at Oxide Surfaces

James A. Enterkin, Kenneth R Poeppelmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concepts in chemical bonding when combined with physics-based energetic considerations can lead to a more complete understanding of the structure, stability, and reactivity of oxide surfaces. While this symbiosis has long been understood for bulk structures, chemical bonding considerations have historically been used less frequently for surfaces. In this chapter, we analyze the chemical bonding of published surface structures of SrTiO3 and MgO using bond valence sum analysis. Bond valence theory compares favorably with complex quantum mechanical calculations in assessing surface structures and explains the experimentally observed surface structures in a readily comprehensible manner. Bond valence theory also helps explain discrepancies between DFT predicted surface stability and experimentally observed surface structures, accurately predicts the adsorption of foreign species onto surfaces, and can be used to predict changes in surface structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-232
Number of pages28
JournalStructure and Bonding
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Adsorbates
  • Bond valence sum
  • Reconstruction
  • Surface structure
  • Surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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