Atomic Structure Control of Silica Thin Films on Pt(111)

Andrew S Crampton, Claron J. Ridge, Marian David Rötzer, Gregor Zwaschka, Thomas Braun, Valerio D’Elia, Jean-Marie Basset, Florian Frank Schweinberger, Sebastian Günther, Ueli Heiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Metal oxide thin films grown on metal single crystals are commonly used to model heterogeneous catalyst supports. The structure and properties of thin silicon dioxide films grown on metal single crystals have only recently been thoroughly characterized and their spectral properties well established. We report the successful growth of a three- dimensional, vitreous silicon dioxide thin film on the Pt(111) surface and reproduce the closed bilayer structure previously reported. The confirmation of the three dimensional nature of the film is unequivocally shown by the infrared absorption band at 1252 cm−1. Temperature programmed desorption was used to show that this three-dimensional thin film covers the Pt(111) surface to such an extent that its application as a catalyst support for clusters/nanoparticles is possible. The growth of a three-dimensional film was seen to be directly correlated with the amount of oxygen present on the surface after the silicon evaporation process. This excess of oxygen is tentatively attributed to atomic oxygen being generated in the evaporator. The identification of atomic oxygen as a necessary building block for the formation of a three-dimensional thin film opens up new possibilities for thin film growth on metal supports, whereby simply changing the type of oxygen enables thin films with different atomic structures to be synthesized. This is a novel approach to tune the synthesis parameters of thin films to grow a specific structure and expands the options for modeling common amorphous silica supports under ultra high vacuum conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13665-13669
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 8 2015

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KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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