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Adsorption of Transition-Metal Clusters on Graphene and N‑Doped Graphene: A DFT Study

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2022, 15:37 by Chengkai Jin, Lihong Cheng, Gang Feng, Runping Ye, Zhang-Hui Lu, Rongbin Zhang, Xiaohu Yu
Using the dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D3) method, we systematically studied the adsorption of 15 kinds of transition-metal (TM) clusters on pristine graphene (Gr) and N-doped graphene (N-Gr). It has been found that TMn (n = 1–4) clusters adsorbed on the N-Gr surface are much stronger than those on the pristine Gr surface, while 3d series clusters present similar geometries on Gr and N-Gr surfaces. The most preferred sites of TMs migrate from hollow to bridge to the top site on the Gr surface along the d series in the periodic table, while the preferred sites of TMs migrate in a much more complex manner on the N-Gr surface. It has also been found that charge transfer decreases along the d series for adsorbed clusters on both surfaces, but adsorbed clusters present less charge transfer on the N-Gr surface than on the Gr surface. What is more interesting is that some TM (Tc, Ru, and Re) clusters change the growth mechanism from the three-dimensional (3D) growth mode on the Gr surface to the two-dimensional (2D) growth mode on the N-Gr surface. At last, it has been found that adsorbed clusters are more dispersed on the N-Gr surface than on the pristine Gr surface due to growth and average aggregation energies.