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Book Review The Surface Science of Metal Oxides. By V. E. Henrich and P. A. Cox

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this book'? Whether it is suitable for the
advanced students envisaged i n the preface seem5 rather doubtful. since the style
is too condensed and the amount of niathematics too demanding; also the book
makes few concessions to the need to
show the subject within a wider context.
On the olhei. hand. for the specialist i t
should certainly be useful iis a work of
reference. Eben here. however. i t must be
said that the authors have concentrated
on discussing their own research. with the
result t h a t apart from the Hartree - Fock
case the niaiii emphasis is on the derivatives of Cl and MCSCF energy functions.
I t is unfortunate that there is no discussion ofthc popular methods based on perturbation theory. nor of the increasingly
import ; i n t cou pled-clus ter met hods. In
conclusion. therefore. the book can be
recommended only for ;I rather restricted
circle of thewetical chemists.
Wolfiritii Koch
I i i ~ t i t u tf u r Organische Cheniie
der Technischen Universitiit Berlin
(Germany)
The Surface Science of Metal Oxides.
By C: E. Hcnricli a n d P . .4. C0.v.
Cambridge University Press, C a m bridge. 1994. 4 6 4 pp.. hardcover
f 55.00. ISBN 0-521-44389-X
In the interdisciplinary field of"surface
bcience". which eiicoinpasses surface
physics and surface
chemistry. the physical aspects are at
present m u c h more
developed than the
chemical. This is
mainly due to progress in the single
crystal physics of
metal surfaces and in
semiconductor studies. So far ;is the chemistry is concerned.
the investisations have been limited to a
relatively m ; i 1 1 number o f reactions and
t o only ii few studieb of chemical compounds with well-characterized surfaces
(which in this book means single crystal
surfaces).This situation applies especially
to the large cl;ish of solid oxides. Despite
their great scientific and technological im-
portance. which far outweighs that of
pure metal surfaces. little progress has so
far been achieved in oxide studies. The
reasons for this are clearly explained in a
general context in the introduction to
this book. and are illustrated more specifically by the many examples described
later.
e
The work is a critical survey of the most
important results achieved by research into thc surface physics and chemistry of
oxide single crystals. Many examples are
discussed. including oxides of the maingroup elements magnesium. aluminum.
zinc. and tin (silicon oxide is excluded. being an oxide of a nonmetal) and of the
sub-group elements titanium, vanadium.
and iron. Other oxides are also included
where i t has been possible to find sufficient published work. Regrettably the alkali metal oxides. which would have fitted
appropriately i n t o the subject matter of
the book. are not mentioned. presumably
due to the lack of examples involving
single crystals. Thin films of metal oxides
with monocrystalline surfaces are also absent. despite the fact that there iscurrently
much research activity in this area.
Nevertheless. these omissions are outweighed by the thoroughness of the treatment of those oxides that are included.
After a short introduction to ideal structures. the electronic properties of the
main- and sub-group metal oxides are
treated in detail and at a high standard.
starting with a chapter on the relevant lattice vibrations. which have a considerable
influence on the physical properties of
the surfaces. This is followed by two
long chapters on the surface chemistry of
molecular compounds and reactions at
their interfaces with other oxides or
metals. However. the sections on heterogeneous catalysis and ceramic superconductors included here can only be rated as
a fair attempt at their target5 rather than
a direct hit.
A noteworthy feature of the book is
that the chemical and physical aspects are
treated with equal competence and rigor.
Consequently the reader needs to have an
appropriate background of knowledge in
both disciplines: this is certainly not an
introductory text. One of the characteristics of interdisciplinary research is that the
same terms are sometiines used with different meanings. and wherever appropriate that is pointed o u t and clarified. The
different definitions of hybridization on
page 104 are a good example of this.
The value of the exhaustive analysis of
the relevant literaturc. in some cases with
information-packed tables summarizing
the results. can hardly be overstated. This
makes the book a useful a o r k of reference
for the scientist engaged in research in this
field. I n this respect i t is tar inore than a
monograph and has the status of a standard work.
'Ihis high quality is also evident in the
examples. which are illustrated by excellent figures; i n some of the more important examples. such as the surface chemistry of titanium oxide (Ch. 6.4). these
contain so much detail that one would
learn little more by reading the original
papers. The book's usefulness as a reference source is further enhanced by around
1000 literature citations. ;I well arranged
contents list. and indexes of keywords and
compounds.
A less favorable aspect is the inconsistency in the frequency of references in the
text; often one has to search for a long
time to find the reference corresponding
to a particular topic. Also the claim that
this book I S the first of its kind is not quite
correct. Two other works are in fact mentioned in the introduction. but the main
text contains no mention of other monographs on the subject. such as that by
Nowottny and Dufour.
Altogether. however. t h i b is an extremely useful book which g i ~ c s;i competent
and reliable survey of the field. I t can be
recommended as a standard work on the
subject. and everyone uorking in this area
will find it a reliable soui-ce of information. The general observations that arc offered should provide m m y useful ideas
when designing one's own research
projects in the currently burgeoning field
of surface science. The style of presentation. the instructive diagrams. and not
least the outstandingly good treatment of
the literature also make thc book a valuable resource for those engaged in research
in related disciplines such as solid state
physics. oxides chemistr). materials science. and catalysis. Libraries are strongly
recommended to buy it as a comprehensive
monograph with a long life expectancy.
Roheit .Sc~/ilOgl
Fritz-Haher-Institut
der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Berlin (Germany)
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