Abstract

Scanning tunneling microscope (STM) images of atomically flat terraces on a pyrite (FeS2) {100} surface are interpreted in terms of pyrite surface electronic structure; the electronic states at the top of the valence band, and therefore the states imaged in the STM under our conditions, are localized on Fe sites. The structure observed at a step difers from that of the terrace, probably because of band bending in response to electrostatic perturbations and shifting of atomic positions at the step edge; convolution of atomic and electronic structure information in STM images precludes unequivocal interpretation of step structure. Nevertheless, the images suggest that steps may provide paths of enhanced conductivity, which could affect pyrite surface redox reactivity.

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