Research Article


2017, 10(5): 1832–1839


Size-dependent dissociation of small cobalt clusters on ultrathin NaCl films

Zhe Li1,2 (*), Hsin-Yi Tiffany Chen3, Koen Schouteden1, Thomas Picot1, Arnaud Hillion1, Gianfranco Pacchioni4, Chris Van Haesendonck1, Ewald Janssens1, and Peter Lievens1

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1 Laboratory of Solid-State Physics and Magnetism, KU Leuven, BE-3001 Leuven, Belgium
2 Key Laboratory of Materials Modification by Laser, Ion and Electron Beams, Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
3 Department of Engineering and System Science, “National Tsing Hua University”, Hsinchu 30013
4 Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Università di Milano-Bicocca, I-20125 Milano, Italy

Keywords: cobalt clusters, mass selection, size-dependent fragmentation, scanning tunneling microscopy, density functional theory
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ABSTRACT Mass-selected anionic cobalt clusters of two different sizes (Co2 and Co13) were deposited onto ultrathin NaCl films grown on an Au(111) substrate. Using scanning tunneling microscopy experiments and density functional theory simulations, we show that the deposited Co2 cluster dissociates and that the resulting Co atoms dope the NaCl surface by substituting Na ions. In contrast, the larger Co13 cluster does not dissociate and remains stable on top of the NaCl film. The sizedependent fragmentation of clusters is an important aspect in the understanding of the chemical interaction between size-selected small aggregates of atoms and supporting surfaces.
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Size-dependent dissociation of small cobalt clusters on ultrathin NaCl films. Nano Res. 2017, 10(5): 1832–1839

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