Temperature-induced transformation of electrochemically formed hydrous RuO2 layers over Ru(0001) model electrodes
Hydrous RuO2 reveals excellent performance both as a supercapacitor and as a heterogeneous oxidation catalyst. Molecular understanding of these processes needs, however, a model system with preferably low structural and morphological complexity. This goal is partly accomplished here by using single crystalline Ru(0001) as a template on which hydrous RuO2 is electrochemically formed. The hydrous RuO2 layers on Ru(0001) and their temperature induced transformation under ultra high vacuum (UHV) conditions are comprehensively characterized by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. The hydrous RuO2 layer grows with an intricate morphology governed by the presence of step bunching regions of the Ru(0001) surface. Upon annealing to 200 °C in UHV the hydrous RuO2 layer transforms mostly into flat metallic Ru islands and occasionally into (100) and (111) oriented RuO2 particles aligned along the high symmetry direction of Ru(0001).