Interplay between bulk atomic clusters and surface structure in complex intermetallic compounds: The case study of the Al5Co2(001) surface

Abstract : The Al5Co2 crystal is a complex intermetallic compound, whose structure can be described by a stacking of chemically bonded atomic motifs. It is a potentially new catalytic material for heterogeneous hydrogenation. A single crystal of this phase has been grown by the Czochralski technique in order to study the influence of the three-dimensional bulk substructure on the two-dimensional surface using both experimental ultrahigh vacuum surface techniques and ab initio methods based on the density functional theory. Some bulk properties are first presented, focusing on chemical bond strengths, the determination of the Al and Co chemical potentials in Al5Co2 , the vibrational properties, and the specific heat. Then, the combination of experimental and computational approaches allows the identification of the surface structure, which was found to depend on the surface preparation conditions. In all cases, the surface terminates at specific bulk layers (Al-rich puckered layers) where various fractions of specific sets of Al atoms are missing, identified as Al3 atoms left at the surface resulting from cluster truncation. Finally, electron density of states calculations and spectroscopic measurements were compared and indicate a strong sp-d hybridization of the topmost pure Al layer with subsurface Co atoms. This could influence the surface reactivity and the catalytic performances of this material.
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Physical Review B : Condensed matter and materials physics, American Physical Society, 2015, 91, pp.085414. 〈10.1103/PhysRevB.91.085414〉
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M. Meier, J. Ledieu, M.-C. De Weerd, Ying-Tzu Huang, G. J. P. Abreu, et al.. Interplay between bulk atomic clusters and surface structure in complex intermetallic compounds: The case study of the Al5Co2(001) surface. Physical Review B : Condensed matter and materials physics, American Physical Society, 2015, 91, pp.085414. 〈10.1103/PhysRevB.91.085414〉. 〈hal-01132752〉

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