Single adatoms are expected to participate in many processes occurring at solid surfaces, such as the growth of graphene on metals. We demonstrate, both experimentally and theoretically, the catalytic role played by single metal adatoms during the technologically relevant process of graphene growth on nickel (Ni). The catalytic action of individual Ni atoms at the edges of a growing graphene flake was directly captured by scanning tunneling microscopy imaging at the millisecond time scale, while force field molecular dynamics and density functional theory calculations rationalize the experimental observations. Our results unveil the mechanism governing the activity of a single-atom catalyst at work.

Real-time imaging of adatom-promoted graphene growth on nickel

Patera, Laerte L.;Bianchini, Federico;Africh, Cristina
;
Dri, Carlo;Soldano, German;Mariscal, Marcelo M.;Peressi, Maria
;
Comelli, Giovanni
2018-01-01

Abstract

Single adatoms are expected to participate in many processes occurring at solid surfaces, such as the growth of graphene on metals. We demonstrate, both experimentally and theoretically, the catalytic role played by single metal adatoms during the technologically relevant process of graphene growth on nickel (Ni). The catalytic action of individual Ni atoms at the edges of a growing graphene flake was directly captured by scanning tunneling microscopy imaging at the millisecond time scale, while force field molecular dynamics and density functional theory calculations rationalize the experimental observations. Our results unveil the mechanism governing the activity of a single-atom catalyst at work.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2919374
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