The reactivity of planar surfaces has been well investigated but there are many new unexplored aspects involved in the reactivity of nanoparticle surfaces. Most investigative methods only measure the average properties of the particles present on the surface. In order to investigate the local reactivity of nanoparticles, the STM tip electrode can be used as a local sensor. The feasibility of this approach is demonstrated by detecting some of the hydrogen (through the hydrogen oxidation reaction current at the tip) which is evolved at a single Pd particle on the Au(111) substrate at a constant distance from the tip. In principle, it is thereby possible to determine the reactivities of surfaces on a nanometre scale. To avoid interference from different reactive particles it is essential to use electrodes with a very low particle density. Hence, in this investigation electrodes with single Pd particles which were deposited from the STM tip onto the substrate
are used. Results of potential-dependent measurements at single metal nanoparticles will be shown and the possibilities and limitations of the approach will also be discussed.
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