Research Cluster of Well-defined Surface Nanostructures

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Create and Observe Well-defined Surface Nanostructures for Precise Reaction Control

Cluster Leader Satoru TAKAKUSAGI

Member Ken-ichi SHIMIZU (ICAT, Hokkaido Univ.), Wan-Jae CHUN (International Christian Univ.), Kenji HARA (Tokyo Univ.of Technology), Toshihiro KONDO (Ochanomizu Univ.), Tatsuya TSUKUDA (The Univ. of Tokyo), Kohei UOSAKI (MANA, NIMS), Ichizo YAGI (Hokkaido Univ.), Hironori TSUNOYAMA (Keio Univ.), Takuya MASUDA (NIMS)

The objective of our research group is to createwell-defined active surface structures by modifying oxide single crystal surfaceswith various functional molecules and metals. They are characterized at an atomic level by using advanced surface science techniques such as STM and PTRF-XAFS to elucidate the origin of the catalytic activity.

We are now focusing on metal nanoclusters on oxide surfaces because they are technologically important as oxide-supported metal catalysts, sensors, and electronic devices. It is not easy to prepare homogeneous subnanometer-sized clusters on oxides because they are easily aggregated to form large clusters although they are expected as the next generation catalysts or devices. We succeeded in preparing an atomically dispersed metal species by premodifying an oxide surface with functional molecules before metal deposition (Fig. 1), which may enable precise size control of subnanometer-sized clusters by controlling densities of the functional molecule and the deposited metal.

Fig. 1 Atomically dispersed Au on TiO2(110) premodified with o-MBA (mercaptobenzoic acid) molecules.