Abstract A new experimental technique, spectroscopy of Auger electrons induced by surface channeled ions, has been applied to the system Ni(110)oxygen. Surface atoms have been identified by spectroscopy of ion induced Auger electrons. In combination with surface channeling, the structure of clean and oxygen covered Ni(110) has been investigated. It has been found that at a coverage of 0.5 monolayers of oxygen the nickel surface is reconstructed in the (2 × 1) structure. Every second nickel  row is shifted aside into the position of the  row immediately above forming an asymmetrical saw-tooth shaped profile. The oxygen atoms reside 25 pm above the topmost  nickel rows of the reconstructed surface (long bridge position). The experimental results are compared with computer simulations.