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Issue 36, 2015
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Thermal evolution of cobalt deposits on Co3O4(111): atomically dispersed cobalt, two-dimensional CoO islands, and metallic Co nanoparticles

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Abstract

Cobalt oxide nanomaterials show high activity in several catalytic reactions thereby offering the potential to replace noble metals in some applications. We have developed a well-defined model system for partially reduced cobalt oxide materials aiming at a molecular level understanding of cobalt-oxide-based catalysis. Starting from a well-ordered Co3O4(111) film on Ir(100), we modified the surface by deposition of metallic cobalt. Growth, structure, and adsorption properties of the cobalt-modified surface were investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), low-energy electron diffraction (LEED), and infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS) using CO as a probe molecule. The deposition of a submonolayer of cobalt at 300 K leads to the formation of atomically dispersed cobalt ions distorting the surface layer of the Co3O4 film. Upon annealing to 500 K the Co ions are incorporated into the surface layer forming ordered two-dimensional CoO islands on the Co3O4 grains. At 700 K, Co ions diffuse from the CoO islands into the bulk and the ordered Co3O4(111) surface is restored. Deposition of larger amounts of Co at 300 K leads to formation of metallic Co aggregates on the dispersed cobalt phase. The metallic particles sinter at 500 K and diffuse into the bulk at 700 K. Depending on the degree of bulk reduction, extended Co3O4 grains switch to the CoO(111) structure. All above structures show characteristic CO adsorption behavior and can therefore be identified by IR spectroscopy of adsorbed CO.

Graphical abstract: Thermal evolution of cobalt deposits on Co3O4(111): atomically dispersed cobalt, two-dimensional CoO islands, and metallic Co nanoparticles

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Jul 2015, accepted on 14 Aug 2015 and first published on 18 Aug 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP03922C
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 23538-23546
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Thermal evolution of cobalt deposits on Co3O4(111): atomically dispersed cobalt, two-dimensional CoO islands, and metallic Co nanoparticles

    S. Mehl, P. Ferstl, M. Schuler, A. Toghan, O. Brummel, L. Hammer, M. A. Schneider and J. Libuda, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 23538
    DOI: 10.1039/C5CP03922C

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