Visualization of Surfactants on Nanostructured Palladium Clusters by a Combination of STM and High-Resolution TEM

Science  20 Jan 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5196, pp. 367-369
DOI: 10.1126/science.267.5196.367


Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) have been used to determine the dimensions of a series of palladium clusters stabilized by tetraalkylammonium salts. Electrochemically prepared colloids were used in which the average diameter of the inner metal core was varied between 2 and 4 nanometers, and the size of the ammonium ions was adjusted in the series +N(n-C4H9)4 < +N(n-C8H17)4 < +N(n-C18H37)4. The difference between the mean diameter determined by STM and that measured by TEM allows the determination of the thickness of the protective surfactant layer. On the basis of these studies, a model of the geometric properties of ammonium-stabilized palladium clusters has been proposed. Suggestions for the mechanism of the STM imaging process are also made.