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1.
Nanoscale ; 2020 Mar 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32129392

RESUMO

We report a new approach to design flexible functional material platforms based on electropolymerized polyaniline (PANI) polymer nanofilms modified with bimetallic nanoclusters (NCs) for efficient electro-oxidation of small organic molecules. Composition defined ligand free Pt0.75Ni0.25 NCs were synthesized in the gas phase using the Cluster Beam Deposition (CBD) technology and characterized using RToF, HAADF-STEM, XAFS and XPS. NCs were then directly deposited on PANI coated templates to construct electrodes. Dopamine (DP) molecules were used as a representative organic analyte and the influence of the NC-PANI hybrid atomistic structure on the electrochemical and electrocatalytic performance was investigated. The as prepared, nearly monodispersed, Pt0.75Ni0.25 NCs of ca. 2 nm diameter featuring a PtOx surface combined with a shallow platelet-like Ni-O(OH) phase formed a densely packed active surface on PANI at ultralow metal coverages. Electrochemical measurements (EIS and CV) show a 2.5 times decrease in charge transfer resistance and a remarkable 6-fold increase at lower potential in the mass activity for Pt0.75Ni0.25 NCs in comparison with their pure Pt counterparts. The enhanced electrochemical performance of the Pt0.75Ni0.25 NC hybrid's interface is ascribed to the formation of mixed Pt metal and Ni-O(OH) phases at the surface of the alloyed PtNi cores of the bimetallic NCs under electrochemical conditions combined with an efficient charge conduction pathway between NCs.

2.
Sci Adv ; 6(1): eaay4289, 2020 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31922009

RESUMO

The free-standing Au20 cluster has a unique tetrahedral shape and a large HOMO-LUMO (highest occupied molecular orbital-lowest unoccupied molecular orbital) gap of around 1.8 electron volts. The "magic" Au20 has been intensively used as a model system for understanding the catalytic and optical properties of gold nanoclusters. However, direct real-space ground-state characterization at the atomic scale is still lacking, and obtaining fundamental information about the corresponding structural, electronic, and dynamical properties, is challenging. Here, using cluster-beam deposition and low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy, atom-resolved topographic images and electronic spectra of supported Au20 clusters are obtained. We demonstrate that individual size-selected Au20 on ultrathin NaCl films maintains its pyramidal structure and large HOMO-LUMO gap. At higher cluster coverages, we find sintering of the clusters via Smoluchowski ripening to Au20n agglomerates. The evolution of the electron density of states deduced from the spectra reveals gap reduction with increasing agglomerate size.

3.
Nanoscale ; 11(34): 16130-16141, 2019 Aug 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31432842

RESUMO

The introduction of dopant atoms into metal nanoparticles is an effective way to control the interaction with adsorbate molecules and is important in many catalytic processes. In this work, experimental and theoretical evidence of the influence of Pd doping on the bonding between small cationic AuN+ clusters and CO is presented. The CO adsorption is studied by combining low-pressure collision cell reactivity and infrared multiple photon dissociation spectroscopy experiments with density functional theory calculations. Measured dissociation rates of cluster-CO complexes (N ≤ 21) allow the estimation of cluster-CO binding energies, showing that Pd doping increases the CO adsorption energy to an extent that is size-dependent. These trends are reproduced by theoretical calculations up to N = 13. In agreement with theory, measurements of the C-O vibrational frequency suggest that for the doped PdAuN-1+ (N = 3-5, 11) clusters, CO adsorbs on an Au atom, while for N = 6-10 and N = 12-14, CO interacts directly with the Pd dopant. A pronounced red-shifting of the C-O vibrational frequency is observed when CO interacts directly with the Pd dopant, indicating a significant back-donation of electron charge from Pd to CO. In contrast, the blue-shifted frequencies, observed when CO interacts with an Au atom, indicate that σ-donation dominates the Au-CO interaction. Studying such systems at the sub-nanometre scale enables a fundamental comprehension of the interactions between adsorbates, dopants and the host (Au) species at the atomic level.

4.
Acc Chem Res ; 51(12): 3174-3182, 2018 Dec 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30475581

RESUMO

The reactivity of small metallic clusters, nanoparticles composed of a countable number of atoms (typically up to ∼100 atoms), has attracted much attention due to the fascinating properties these objects possess toward a variety of molecules. Cluster reactivity often is significantly different from the homologous bulk, with gold as prototypical example. Bulk gold is the noblest of all metals, whereas small gold clusters react with carbon monoxide, molecular oxygen, and hydrocarbons, among others. Furthermore, cluster reactivity is strongly size and composition dependent, allowing a wide range of tuning possibilities. The study of cluster reactivity usually follows two routes of investigation. In the first, research aims for fundamental understanding of mechanisms, mainly driven by curiosity. One consequence of the inherent small size of a cluster is that atoms can arrange themselves very differently from the crystallographic structure of the homologous bulk. In addition, quantum confinement effects dominate the electronic structure of a cluster with atom-like electronic shells instead of the electronic bands in bulk. These features result in a very rich and size-dependent interaction of a cluster with small molecules, governed by a fine interplay between the geometry and the electronic structure of the system. An alternative research approach uses the investigation of chemical reactions of isolated small clusters in the gas phase as model systems for the reactions taking place in more complex systems. This offers several advantages compared to more conventional methods and techniques used to study such complex systems. First, clusters can be produced under well-defined conditions, with control over size, composition, and charge state. Second, clusters in the gas phase solely interact with the molecule(s) chosen by the researcher, since contaminations are limited by the high vacuum conditions of the experiments. Third, due to the small number of atoms involved, detailed quantum chemical calculations can be performed on the systems under investigation. Thus, even though gas phase clusters differ significantly in size and in environmental conditions from those encountered, for example, in industrial catalysis, they can be used to unravel the complicated nature of a metal-molecule chemical bonding process. In this Account, both routes of investigation are discussed. The nature of the interaction between small gas phase clusters with diverse molecules is described, stressing the broader relevance of these studies. Particular emphasis is given to the effect of heteroatom doping. By adding a different element to a cluster, its geometric and electronic structure is modified, thereby altering its reactivity. Specifically, the effect of varying size and composition of doped gold, platinum, and aluminum clusters on their reactivity toward diverse molecules, relevant for catalytic applications, is discussed. Most studies presented here combine experiments based on mass spectrometric techniques with density functional theory calculations, allowing a deep understanding of the reaction mechanisms at a molecular level.

5.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 20(46): 29085-29090, 2018 Nov 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30457614

RESUMO

The relative stability of small cationic platinum clusters is investigated by photofragmentation experiments. Mass spectra show a smooth intensity distribution except for a local intensity minimum at Pt5+, revealing enhanced stability of the platinum tetramer Pt4+. The possibility that radiative cooling competes with statistical fragmentation after photoexcitation is examined and it is shown that clusters in the N = 3-8 size range do not radiate on the time scale of the experiment. In the absence of radiative cooling, the mass spectra of photofragmented clusters can be well explained by dissociation energies computed using density functional theory. The large calculated HOMO-LUMO gap for Pt4+ (∼1.2 eV) is attributed to its highly symmetric structure and provides an explanation for the surprisingly low reactivity of this cluster in different gas-phase reactions.

6.
Science ; 361(6403): 686-690, 2018 08 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30115807

RESUMO

Silver (Ag) clusters confined in matrices possess remarkable luminescence properties, but little is known about their structural and electronic properties. We characterized the bright green luminescence of Ag clusters confined in partially exchanged Ag-Linde Type A (LTA) zeolites by means of a combination of x-ray excited optical luminescence-extended x-ray absorption fine structure, time-dependent-density functional theory calculations, and time-resolved spectroscopy. A mixture of tetrahedral Ag4(H2O) x2+ (x = 2 and x = 4) clusters occupies the center of a fraction of the sodalite cages. Their optical properties originate from a confined two-electron superatom quantum system with hybridized Ag and water O orbitals delocalized over the cluster. Upon excitation, one electron of the s-type highest occupied molecular orbital is promoted to the p-type lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals and relaxes through enhanced intersystem crossing into long-lived triplet states.

7.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 9(18): 5344-5350, 2018 Sep 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30130110

RESUMO

The appealing luminescent properties of Ag-zeolites have been shown to be dependent on the local environment of the confined silver clusters. Herein, we shed light on the properties of Ag clusters inside hydrated Linde-type A (LTA) zeolites and relate them to the nature of the host framework when expanded and compressed by the incorporation of Li+ cations and the Ag+ loading. Within this scenario, we measure a strong emission color shift in these materials, which we directly correlate with the fine structure details derived by optical luminescence-detected X-ray absorption in combination with deep UV-Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Strong guest-host-guest interactions are revealed to underpin the variations in the optical properties; a modification in the zeolite lattice parameter results in changing bond lengths of the silver cluster. This interplay between the host zeolite and its confined guests can thus be harnessed to easily tune the Ag-zeolites' emission properties.

8.
Nanoscale ; 10(24): 11467-11476, 2018 Jun 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29888348

RESUMO

Luminescent silver clusters (AgCLs) stabilized inside partially Ag exchanged Na LTA zeolites show a remarkable reversible on-off switching of their green-yellowish luminescence that is easily tuned by a hydration and dehydration cycle, making them very promising materials for sensing applications. We have used a unique combination of photoluminescence (PL), UV-visible-NIR Diffuse Reflectance (DRS), X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS), Fourier Transform-Infrared (FTIR) and electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopies to unravel the atomic-scale structural changes responsible for the reversible optical behavior of the confined AgCLs in LTA zeolites. Water coordinated, diamagnetic, tetrahedral AgCLs [Ag4(H2O)4]2+ with Ag atoms positioned along the axis of the sodalite six-membered rings are at the origin of the broad and intense green-yellowish luminescence in the hydrated sample. Upon dehydration, luminescent [Ag4(H2O)4]2+ clusters are transformed into non-luminescent (dark), diamagnetic, octahedral AgCLs [Ag6(OF)14]2+ with Ag atoms interacting strongly with zeolite framework oxygen (OF) of the sodalite four-membered rings. This highly responsive on-off switching reveals that besides quantum confinement and molecular-size, coordinated water and framework oxygen ligands strongly affect the organization of AgCLs valence electrons and play a crucial role in the opto-structural properties of AgCLs.

9.
Nanoscale ; 10(14): 6684-6694, 2018 Apr 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29589035

RESUMO

The structure and atomic ordering of Au-Ag nanoparticles grown in the gas phase are determined by a combination of HAADF-STEM, XPS and Refl-XAFS techniques as a function of composition. It is shown consistently from all the techniques that an inversion of chemical ordering takes place by going from Au-rich to Ag-rich compositions, with the minority element always occupying the nanoparticle core, and the majority element enriching the shell. With the aid of DFT calculations, this composition-tunable chemical arrangement is rationalized in terms of a four-step growth process in which the very first stage of cluster nucleation plays a crucial role. The four-step growth mechanism is based on mechanisms of a general character, likely to be applicable to a variety of binary systems besides Au-Ag.

10.
Nanomaterials (Basel) ; 8(1)2018 Jan 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29316728

RESUMO

In this study, we applied cluster beam deposition (CBD) as a new approach for fabricating efficient plasmon-based photocatalytic materials. Au nanoclusters (AuNCs) produced in the gas phase were deposited on TiO2 P25-coated silicon wafers with coverage ranging from 2 to 8 atomic monolayer (ML) equivalents. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images of the AuNCs modified TiO2 P25 films show that the surface is uniformly covered by the AuNCs that remain isolated at low coverage (2 ML, 4 ML) and aggregate at higher coverage (8 ML). A clear relationship between AuNCs coverage and photocatalytic activity towards stearic acid photo-oxidation was measured, both under ultraviolet and green light illumination. TiO2 P25 covered with 4 ML AuNCs showed the best stearic acid photo-oxidation performance under green light illumination (Formal Quantum Efficiency 1.6 × 10-6 over a period of 93 h). These results demonstrate the large potential of gas-phase AuNCs beam deposition technology for the fabrication of visible light active plasmonic photocatalysts.

11.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 19(29): 19360-19368, 2017 Jul 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28707685

RESUMO

The structures of small cationic silver clusters Agn+ (n = 3-13) are investigated by comparing measured far-infrared multiple photon dissociation spectra of cluster-argon complexes with the calculated harmonic vibrational spectra of different low-energy structural isomers. A global structure search was carried out using the CALYPSO structure prediction method, after which isomers were locally optimized with the meta GGA functional TPSS. The obtained structures of the cationic silver clusters are mostly consistent with earlier ion mobility measurements and photodissociation spectroscopy studies for Agn+ (n = 3-11) and allowed excluding several structural isomers that were considered in those earlier studies, which illustrates the strength of combining multiple experimental techniques for conclusive structural identification. The growth pattern of the cationic silver clusters is discussed and differences with other cationic coinage metal clusters are highlighted.

12.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 55(37): 11059-63, 2016 09 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27464653

RESUMO

A major drawback of state-of-the-art proton exchange membrane fuel cells is the CO poisoning of platinum catalysts. It is known that CO poisoning is reduced if platinum alloys are used, but the underlying mechanism therefore is still under debate. We study the influence of dopant atoms on the CO adsorption on small platinum clusters using mass spectrometry experiments and density functional calculations. A significant reduction in the reactivity for Nb- and Mo-doped clusters is attributed to electron transfer from those highly coordinated dopants to the Pt atoms and the concomitant lower CO binding energies. On the other hand Sn and Ag dopants have a lower Pt coordination and have a limited effect on the CO adsorption. Analysis of the density of states demonstrates a correlation of dopant-induced changes in the electronic structure with the enhanced tolerance to CO poisoning.

13.
Nat Mater ; 15(9): 1017-22, 2016 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27270964

RESUMO

The integration of metal atoms and clusters in well-defined dielectric cavities is a powerful strategy to impart new properties to them that depend on the size and geometry of the confined space as well as on metal-host electrostatic interactions. Here, we unravel the dependence of the electronic properties of metal clusters on space confinement by studying the ionization potential of silver clusters embedded in four different zeolite environments over a range of silver concentrations. Extensive characterization reveals a strong influence of silver loading and host environment on the cluster ionization potential, which is also correlated to the cluster's optical and structural properties. Through fine-tuning of the zeolite host environment, we demonstrate photoluminescence quantum yields approaching unity. This work extends our understanding of structure-property relationships of small metal clusters and applies this understanding to develop highly photoluminescent materials with potential applications in optoelectronics and bioimaging.

14.
Nano Lett ; 16(5): 3063-70, 2016 05 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27074132

RESUMO

Membranes and their size-selective filtering properties are universal in nature and their behavior is exploited to design artificial membranes suited for, e.g., molecule or nanoparticle filtering and separation. Exploring and understanding penetration and transmission mechanisms of nanoparticles in thin-film systems may provide new opportunities for size selective deposition or embedding of the nanoparticles. Here, we demonstrate an unexpected finding that the sieving of metal nanoparticles through atomically thin nonporous alkali halide films on a metal support is size dependent and that this sieving effect can be tuned via the film thickness. Specifically, relying on scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, combined with density functional theory calculations, we find that defect-free NaCl films on a Au(111) support act as size-dependent membranes for deposited Au nanoclusters. The observed sieving ability is found to originate from a driving force toward the metal support and from the dynamics of both the nanoparticles and the alkali halide films.

15.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 18(8): 6291-300, 2016 Feb 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26853772

RESUMO

In this work, the structures of cationic SinNb(+) (n = 4-12) clusters are determined using the combination of infrared multiple photon dissociation (IR-MPD) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The experimental IR-MPD spectra of the argon complexes of SinNb(+) are assigned by comparison to the calculated IR spectra of low-energy structures of SinNb(+) that are identified using the stochastic 'random kick' algorithm in conjunction with the BP86 GGA functional. It is found that the Nb dopant tends to bind in an apex position of the Sin framework for n = 4-9 and in surface positions with high coordination numbers for n = 10-12. For the larger doped clusters, it is suggested that multiple isomers coexist and contribute to the experimental spectra. The structural evolution of SinNb(+) clusters is similar to V-doped silicon clusters (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 15589-15602), except for the largest size investigated (n = 12), since V takes an endohedral position in Si12V(+). The interaction with a Nb atom, with its partially unfilled 4d orbitals leads to a significant stability enhancement of the Sin framework as reflected, e.g. by high binding energies and large HOMO-LUMO gaps.

16.
J Chem Phys ; 143(22): 224313, 2015 Dec 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26671381

RESUMO

The fragmentation of laser heated silicon clusters was studied by time-of-flight mass spectrometry. For Si(n)(+) (n = 5-19, 21), the lowest energy fragmentation pathways were identified as the metastable decay channel occurring after the primary acceleration of the ions. The radiative cooling of laser excited Si(n)(+) (n = 5-9, 11, and 13) was quantified via its quenching effect on the amount of metastable fragmentation. The quenching varied strongly with cluster size, from no observable amount for Si7(+) to a cooling constant of 3 ⋅ 10(5) s(-1) for Si13(+). In addition, based on the observed fragmentation channels, the ionization energies and the relative binding energies of the clusters were partially ordered, and several ionization energies have been bracketed more precisely.

17.
Chemistry ; 21(43): 15256-62, 2015 Oct 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26350334

RESUMO

The adsorption of propene on neutral gold clusters is investigated in a collision cell under a few collision conditions. The adsorption reaction is studied by pressure-dependent kinetic measurements and delayed unimolecular dissociation of the excited Aun propene complexes. The cluster size (n=9-25) and temperature (T=90-300 K) dependence of the propene adsorption is analyzed. Strong size dependences of the absorption reaction are observed; a larger propene adsorption probability was found for gold clusters composed of an even number of atoms. Propene binding energies are estimated by comparison of the temperature-dependent unimolecular dissociation rates with rates obtained by using statistical RRKM modeling. The Aun -propene binding energies decrease non-monotonously with cluster size and are in the range of 1.2-0.85 eV for n=9-25. Finally, the bonding of C3 H6 on Aun is qualitatively described and similarities with the absorption of CO molecules on gold clusters are discussed.

18.
ACS Nano ; 9(6): 5984-98, 2015 Jun 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26027910

RESUMO

It is generally accepted that optimal particle sizes are key for efficient nanocatalysis. Much less attention is paid to the role of morphology and atomic arrangement during catalytic reactions. Here, we unravel the structural, stoichiometric, and morphological evolution of gas-phase produced and partially oxidized cobalt nanoparticles in a broad size range. Particles with diameters between 1.4 and 22 nm generated in cluster sources are size selected and deposited on amorphous alumina (Al2O3) and ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) films. A combination of different techniques is employed to monitor particle properties at the stages of production, exposure to ambient conditions, and catalytic reaction, in this case, the oxidative dehydrogenation of cyclohexane at elevated temperatures. A pronounced size dependence is found, naturally classifying the particles into three size regimes. While small and intermediate clusters essentially retain their compact morphology, large particles transform into hollow spheres due to the nanoscale Kirkendall effect. Depending on the substrate, an isotropic (Al2O3) or anisotropic (UNCD) Kirkendall effect is observed. The latter results in dramatic lateral size changes. Our results shed light on the interplay between chemical reactions and the catalyst's structure and provide an approach to tailor the cobalt oxide phase composition required for specific catalytic schemes.

19.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 17(27): 17584-91, 2015 Jul 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26098279

RESUMO

Mass spectrometry experiments show an exceptionally weak bonding between Si7Mn(+) and rare gas atoms as compared to other exohedrally transition metal (TM) doped silicon clusters and other SinMn(+) (n = 5-10) sizes. The Si7Mn(+) cluster does not form Ar complexes and the observed fraction of Xe complexes is low. The interaction of two cluster series, SinMn(+) (n = 6-10) and Si7TM(+) (TM = Cr, Mn, Cu, and Zn), with Ar and Xe is investigated by density functional theory calculations. The cluster-rare gas binding is for all clusters, except Si7Mn(+) and Si7Zn(+), predominantly driven by short-range interaction between the TM dopant and the rare gas atoms. A high s-character electron density on the metal atoms in Si7Mn(+) and Si7Zn(+) shields the polarization toward the rare gas atoms and thereby hinders formation of short-range complexes. Overall, both Ar and Xe complexes are similar except that the larger polarizability of Xe leads to larger binding energies.

20.
ACS Nano ; 9(5): 5318-25, 2015 May 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25769024

RESUMO

During the last 20 years, using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy, scientists have successfully achieved vertical and lateral repositioning of individual atoms on and in different types of surfaces. Such atom manipulation allows the bottom-up assembly of novel nanostructures that can otherwise not be fabricated. It is therefore surprising that controlled repositioning of virtual atoms, i.e., atomic vacancies, across atomic lattices has not yet been achieved experimentally. Here we use STM at liquid helium temperature (4.5 K) to create individual Cl vacancies and subsequently to laterally manipulate them across the surface of ultrathin sodium chloride films. This allows monitoring the interactions between two neighboring vacancies with different separations. Our findings are corroborated by density functional theory calculations and STM image simulations. The lateral manipulation of atomic vacancies opens up a new playground for the investigation of fundamental physical properties of vacancy nanostructures of any size and shape and their coupling with the supporting substrate, and of the interaction of various deposits with charged vacancies.

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