Probing the active sites for CO dissociation on ruthenium nanoparticles

Christian Ejersbo Strebel, Shane Murphy, Rasmus Munksgård Nielsen, Jane Hvolbæk Nielsen, Ib Chorkendorff

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The active sites for CO dissociation were probed on mass-selected Ru nanoparticles on a HOPG support by temperature programmed desorption spectroscopy using isotopically labelled CO. Combined with transmission electron microscopy we gain insight on how the size and morphology of the nanoparticles affect the CO dissociation activity. The Ru nanoparticles were synthesized in a UHV chamber by gas-aggregation magnetron sputtering in the size range from 3 to 15 nm and the morphology was investigated in situ by scanning tunneling microscopy and ex situ by high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Surprisingly, it was found that larger particles were more active per surface area for CO dissociation. It is suggested that this is due to larger particles exposing a more rough surface than the smaller particles, giving rise to a higher relative amount of under-coordinated adsorption sites on the larger particles. The induced surface roughness is proposed to be a consequence of the growth processes in the gas-aggregation chamber.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number22
Pages (from-to)8005-8012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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