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Tailoring the Dispersion of Metals on ZnO with Preadsorbed Water

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posted on 2022-10-26, 14:35 authored by Yuniu Sun, Jiefu Zhang, Dandan Zhou, Dan Wang, Qingqing Wang, Xiaolin Tan, Xiang Shao
The dispersity of metal particles over oxide surfaces is generally critical for the applications of the metal/oxide hybridized systems. In this work, we have experimentally investigated the hydration effect of preadsorbed water species over the Cu and Pd particles deposited on the ZnO(10–10) surface. Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), we clearly saw that both Cu and Pd grow as three-dimensional particles on the clean ZnO(10–10) surface but disperse into single atoms and few-atom clusters on the water-covered surfaces. Moreover, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements revealed that Cu is readily oxidized by interacting with the molecular water while Pd tends to bind the surface hydroxyls and keep neutral status. Our work has demonstrated the effective role of the surface water in tuning the morphologies as well as electronic states of the supported metals, which may bring new insights to a number of important surface processes with water in presence.

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