Through an interplay between density functional calculations, Monte Carlo simulations and scanning tunneling microscopy experiments, we show that an intermediate coverage of CO on the Pt(110) surface gives rise to a new rough equilibrium structure with more than 50% step atoms. CO is shown to bind so strongly to low-coordinated Pt atoms that it can break Pt-Pt bonds and spontaneously form steps on the surface. It is argued that adsorption-induced step formation may be a general effect, in particular at high gas pressures and temperatures.
Bibliographical noteCopyright (2001) American Physical Society
- CO CHEMISORPTION