In situ lattice tuning of quasi-single-crystal surfaces for continuous electrochemical modulation†
The ability to control the atomic-level structure of a solid represents a straightforward strategy for fabricating high-performance catalysts and semiconductor materials. Herein we explore the capability of the mechanically controllable surface strain method in adjusting the surface structure of a gold film. Underpotential deposition measurements provide a quantitative and ultrasensitive approach for monitoring the evolution of surface structures. The electrochemical activities of the quasi-single-crystalline gold films are enhanced productively by controlling the surface tension, resulting in a more positive potential for copper deposition. Our method provides an effective way to tune the atom arrangement of solid surfaces with sub-angstrom precision and to achieve a reduction in power consumption, which has vast applications in electrocatalysis, molecular electronics, and materials science.