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Issue 20, 2012
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Rediscovering cobalt's surface chemistry

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Cobalt is an active metal for a variety of commercially and environmentally significant heterogeneously catalysed processes. Despite its importance, Co's surface chemistry is less studied compared to other key industrial catalyst metals. This stems in part from the difficulties associated with single crystal preparation and stability. Recent advances in scanning probe microscopy have enabled the atomic scale study of the structural, electronic, and magnetic properties of well-defined Co nanoparticles on metal substrates. Such systems offer an excellent platform to investigate the adsorption, diffusion, dissociation, and reaction of catalytically relevant molecules. Here we discuss the current understanding of metal-supported Co nanoparticles, review the limited literature on molecular adsorption, and suggest ways that they can be used to explore Co's rich surface chemistry. Our discussion is accompanied by new high resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy data from our group, which illustrate some of the interesting properties of these complex systems.

Graphical abstract: Rediscovering cobalt's surface chemistry

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Nov 2011, accepted on 10 Feb 2012 and first published on 13 Feb 2012

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23691E
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 7215-7224
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    Rediscovering cobalt's surface chemistry

    E. A. Lewis, A. D. Jewell, G. Kyriakou and E. C. H. Sykes, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 7215
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23691E

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