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Electron-stimulated reactions in nanoscale water films adsorbed on α-Al2O3(0001)

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Abstract

The radiation-induced decomposition and desorption of nanoscale amorphous solid water (D2O) films adsorbed on an α-Al2O3(0001) surface was studied at low temperature in ultrahigh vacuum using temperature programmed desorption (TPD) and electron stimulated desorption (ESD) with a mono-energetic, low energy electron source. ESD yields of molecular products (D2, O2 and D2O) and the total sputtering yield increased with increasing D2O coverage up to ∼15 water monolayers (i.e. ∼15 × 1015 cm−2) to a coverage-independent level for thicker water films. Experiments with isotopically-layered water films (D2O and H2O) demonstrated that the highest water decomposition yields occurred at the interfaces of the nanoscale water films with the alumina substrate and vacuum. However, the increased reactivity of the water/alumina interface is relatively small compared to the enhancements in the non-thermal reactions previously observed at the water/Pt(111) and water/TiO2(110) interfaces. We propose that the relatively low activity of Al2O3(0001) for the radiation-induced production of molecular hydrogen is associated with lower reactivity of this surface with hydrogen atoms, which are likely precursors for the formation of molecular hydrogen.

Graphical abstract: Electron-stimulated reactions in nanoscale water films adsorbed on α-Al2O3(0001)

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Feb 2018, accepted on 09 Apr 2018 and first published on 11 Apr 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CP01284A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Advance Article
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    Electron-stimulated reactions in nanoscale water films adsorbed on α-Al2O3(0001)

    N. G. Petrik and G. A. Kimmel, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8CP01284A

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