Enhanced Bonding of Gold Nanoparticles on Oxidized TiO2(110)

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Science  23 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5819, pp. 1692-1696
DOI: 10.1126/science.1135752

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We studied the nucleation of gold clusters on TiO2(110) surfaces in three different oxidation states by high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy. The three TiO2(110) supports chosen were (i) reduced (having bridging oxygen vacancies), (ii) hydrated (having bridging hydroxyl groups), and (iii) oxidized (having oxygen adatoms). At room temperature, gold nanoclusters nucleate homogeneously on the terraces of the reduced and oxidized supports, whereas on the hydrated TiO2(110) surface, clusters form preferentially at the step edges. From interplay with density functional theory calculations, we identified two different gold-TiO2(110) adhesion mechanisms for the reduced and oxidized supports. The adhesion of gold clusters is strongest on the oxidized support, and the implications of this finding for catalytic applications are discussed.

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