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Acta Cryst. (1997). A53, 855-856

Physics and chemistry at oxide surfaces.


Pp. xv + 223. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Price £40.00 (US$64.95). ISBN 0 521 47214 8.

In this book, Noguera presents the current state of the art for the theory of oxide surfaces. In the first chapter, the ionic model of the bonding in oxides is presented with an illuminating discussion of the definition and relative importance of ionic and covalent interactions. The modern, quantum-mechanical, simulation techniques used in quantitative studies are briefly reviewed. Succeeding chapters contain a systematic presentation of the recent developments in studies of atomistic structure, electronic structure, excitations, metal overlayers and surface chemistry. A thorough description of recent experimental and theoretical studies is given. The presentation is characterized by a determined effort to identify and explain the underlying physics through the introduction of simple models. Frequent reference is made to the ionic and tight-binding pictures.

As a highly readable introduction to this subject, the book will be of value to the advanced undergraduate or postgraduate student. Our understanding of oxide surfaces has advanced enormously in the past few years and the research effort dedicated to these systems is still growing rapidly. The interdisciplinary nature of this work - involving (at least) physics, chemistry, geology and materials science - has led to a profusion of different approaches and attitudes. This book draws together many of these strands and thus also provides an excellent point of reference for established researchers in this field. It provides an excellent companion to The Surface Science of Metal Oxides, by V. E. Henrich & P. A. Cox (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), which concentrates more on experimental studies. Noguera's book does not examine the difficult problem of highly correlated oxide materials for which the standard references remain N. F. Mott's Metal-Insulator Transitions (London: Taylor & Francis Ltd, 1974) and P. A. Cox's Transition Metal Oxides: an Introduction to their Electronic Structure and Properties (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992).


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