Unraveling the atomic structure of ultrafine iron clusters

Hongtao Wang, Kun Li, Yingbang Yao, Qingxiao Wang, Yingchun Cheng, Udo Schwingenschlögl, Xixiang Zhang, Wei Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Unraveling the atomic structures of ultrafine iron clusters is critical to understanding their size-dependent catalytic effects and electronic properties. Here, we describe the stable close-packed structure of ultrafine Fe clusters for the first time, thanks to the superior properties of graphene, including the monolayer thickness, chemical inertness, mechanical strength, electrical and thermal conductivity. These clusters prefer to take regular planar shapes with morphology changes by local atomic shuffling, as suggested by the early hypothesis of solid-solid transformation. Our observations differ from observations from earlier experimental study and theoretical model, such as icosahedron, decahedron or cuboctahedron. No interaction was observed between Fe atoms or clusters and pristine graphene. However, preferential carving, as observed by other research groups, can be realized only when Fe clusters are embedded in graphene. The techniques introduced here will be of use in investigations of other clusters or even single atoms or molecules.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 18 2012

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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