Grouping and aggregation of ligand protected Au9 clusters on TiO2 nanosheets
Al Qahtani, Hassan
Alvino, J F
Metha, G F
Golovko, V B
Adnan, Rohul H
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Atomically precise chemically synthesised Au clusters, in the form of [Au9(PPh3)8](NO3)3, were deposited onto titania nanosheets after UV pre-treatment of the substrate and examined with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and synchrotron X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) before and after heat treatment. The STM, AFM and XPS results complement each other. AFM was performed to determine the height of the deposited species and their dispersion on titania nanosheets. STM shows groups of clusters that at least partially consist of individual clusters both before and after annealing. STM cannot exclude the existence of individual clusters on the titania nanosheets outside the groups. XPS shows that before annealing the Au clusters are attached to the titania surface as individual clusters thus as clusters with non-agglomerated cluster cores. After annealing, both individual and agglomerated clusters are found on the surface. The combination of AFM, STM and XPS shows that the groups formed by the clusters consist of individual and agglomerated clusters.
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