Size-dependent molecular dissociation on mass-selected, supported metal clusters

U. Heiz, F. Vanolli, A. Sanchez, W. D. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Particles of nonometer size (nanoparticles) supported on well- characterized oxide surfaces are of particular interest to model the high complexity of real catalyts to answer questions such as the role of intrinsic size effects and the influence of the support.1,2 Model systems so far consisted of size-distributed nonoparticles deposited on oxide substrates,3-5 which do not allow an unambiguous determination of the cluster's chemical nature. Here, we report on the size-dependent chemical reactivity of nickel clusters, size selected and deposited with low energy (0.2 eV/atom) on thin MgO(100)films. Monodispersed Ni30 clusters show a higher reactivity for CO dissociation than Ni11 and Ni20. In particular, Ni30 clusters are extremely reactive and dissociate up to 10 CO molecules at temperatures below 280 K. Our results demonstrate that such small, supported clusters are unique for catalytic reactions not only due to their high surface-to-volume ratio but essentially because of the distinctive properties of different cluster sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9668-9671
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number37
StatePublished - 23 Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes


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