Elucidating the charge state of an Au nanocluster on the oxidized/reduced rutile TiO2 (110) surface using non-contact atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy
The charge state of Au nanoclusters on oxidized/reduced rutile TiO2 (110) surfaces were investigated by a combination of non-contact atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy at 78 K under ultra-high vacuum. We found that the Au nanoclusters supported on oxidized/reduced surfaces had a relatively positive/negative charge state, respectively, compared with the substrate. In addition, the distance dependence of LCPD verified the contrast observed in the KPFM images. The physical background of charge transfer observation can be explained by the model of charge attachment/detachment from multiple oxygen vacancies/adatoms surrounding Au nanoclusters. These results suggest that the electronic properties of the Au nanoclusters are dramatically influenced by the condition of the support used.