Epitaxially grown model catalyst particles of platinum, rhodium, iridium, palladium and rhenium studied by electron microscopy

G. Rupprechter, K. Hayek, L. Rendón, M. José-Yacamán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


In order to obtain oriented thin film model catalysts, small particles of Pt, Rh, Ir, Pd and Re (2-20 nm in size) were grown by high vacuum evaporation on NaCl cleavage faces or on in situ deposited NaCl films at 523-673 K. The particles were covered with a supporting film of Al2O3 or carbon and removed from the substrate. High resolution electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction and weak-beam dark-field imaging were applied to determine the particular morphology, microstructure and orientation of the observed particles. Special attention was paid to Rh particles which appear in a variety of shapes. Pt, Ir and Pd model catalysts consist mainly of (001) oriented half octahedra which may exhibit truncations at the corners or on the top. This was also the dominant shape of Rh particles but in addition half tetrahedra in (011) epitaxy and multiply-twinned particles like decahedra in (001), (011) and (111) orientation were evident. These habits provide a definite "initial state" for study of the changes in structure and morphology of the particles during activating heat treatments necessary to induce catalytic activity of the Al2O3 supported metal films. Although Re films consisted of irregularly shaped particles, electron diffraction revealed a partial epitaxial alignment of both c.p.h. and f.c.c. Re.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Catalysis
  • Electron microscopy
  • Epitaxy
  • Metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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