The initial interaction of water with semiconductors determines the electronic structure of the solid-liquid interface. The exact nature of this interaction is, however, often unknown. Here, we study gallium phosphide-based surfaces exposed to H2O by means of in situ reflection anisotropy spectroscopy. We show that the introduction of typical imperfections in the form of surface steps or trace contaminants not only changes the dynamics of the interaction, but also its qualitative nature. This emphasises the challenges for the comparability of experiments with (idealised) electronic structure models for electrochemistry.
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- 1 Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy / Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin [HZB]
- 2 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Humboldt University of Berlin [HU]
- 3 Technische Universität Ilmenau / Ilmenau University of Technology
- Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (through Organization: Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren / Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres)
- Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (through Organization: Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes / German National Academic Foundation)