The role of substrate electrons in the wetting of a metal surface

T. Schiros, O. Takahashi, Klas Jerker Andersson, H. Ostrom, L.G.M. Pettersson, A. Nilsson, H. Ogasawara

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

511 Downloads (Pure)


We address how the electronic and geometric structures of metal surfaces determine water-metal bonding by affecting the balance between Pauli repulsion and electrostatic attraction. We show how the rigid d-electrons and the softer s-electrons utilize different mechanisms for the redistribution of charge that enables surface wetting. On open d-shell Pt(111), the ligand field of water alters the distribution of metal d-electrons to reduce the repulsion. The closed-shell Cu d(10) configuration of isostructural Cu(111), however, does not afford this mechanism, resulting in a hydrophobic surface and three-dimensional ice cluster formation. On the geometrically corrugated Cu(110) surface, however, charge depletion involving the mobile sp-electrons at atomic rows reduces the exchange repulsion sufficiently such that formation of a two-dimensional wetting layer is still favored in spite of the d(10) electronic configuration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)094701
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright (2010) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.


  • water
  • copper
  • platinum
  • bonds (chemical)
  • wetting
  • surface states
  • surface structure
  • crystal field interactions


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of substrate electrons in the wetting of a metal surface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this