Influence of support morphology on the bonding of molecules to nanoparticles

Chi Ming Yim, Chi L. Pang, Diego R. Hermoso, Coinneach M. Dover, Christopher A. Muryn, Francesco Maccherozzi, Sarnjeet S. Dhesi, Rubén Pérez, Geoff Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Supported metal nanoparticles form the basis of heterogeneous catalysts. Above a certain nanoparticle size, it is generally assumed that adsorbates bond in an identical fashion as on a semiinfinite crystal. This assumption has allowed the database on metal single crystals accumulated over the past 40 years to be used to model heterogeneous catalysts. Using a surface science approach to CO adsorption on supported Pd nanoparticles, we show that this assumption may be flawed. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure measurements, isolated to one nanoparticle, show that CO bonds upright on the nanoparticle top facets as expected from single-crystal data. However, the CO lateral registry differs from the single crystal. Our calculations indicate that this is caused by the strain on the nanoparticle, induced by carpet growth across the substrate step edges. This strain also weakens the CO-metal bond, which will reduce the energy barrier for catalytic reactions, including CO oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7903-7908
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 30 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Adsorption
  • Carpet growth
  • Nanoparticle
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Surface strain


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of support morphology on the bonding of molecules to nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this