Platinum nanofilm formation by EC-ALE via redox replacement of UPD copper: studies using in-situ scanning tunneling microscopy

J Phys Chem B. 2006 Sep 14;110(36):17998-8006. doi: 10.1021/jp063766f.


The growth of Pt nanofilms on well-defined Au(111) electrode surfaces, using electrochemical atomic layer epitaxy (EC-ALE), is described here. EC-ALE is a deposition method based on surface-limited reactions. This report describes the first use of surface-limited redox replacement reactions (SLR(3)) in an EC-ALE cycle to form atomically ordered metal nanofilms. The SLR(3) consisted of the underpotential deposition (UPD) of a copper atomic layer, subsequently replaced by Pt at open circuit, in a Pt cation solution. This SLR(3) was then used a cycle, repeated to grow thicker Pt films. Deposits were studied using a combination of electrochemistry (EC), in-situ scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) using an electrochemical flow cell, and ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) surface studies combined with electrochemistry (UHV-EC). A single redox replacement of upd Cu from a PtCl(4)(2-) solution yielded an incomplete monolayer, though no preferential deposition was observed at step edges. Use of an iodine adlayer, as a surfactant, facilitated the growth of uniformed films. In-situ STM images revealed ordered Au(111)-(square root 3 x square root 3)R30 degrees-iodine structure, with areas partially distorted by Pt nanoislands. After the second application, an ordered Moiré pattern was observed with a spacing consistent with the lattice mismatch between a Pt monolayer and the Au(111) substrate. After application of three or more cycles, a new adlattice, a (3 x 3)-iodine structure, was observed, previously observed for I atoms adsorbed on Pt(111). In addition, five atom adsorbed Pt-I complexes randomly decorated the surface and showed some mobility. These pinwheels, planar PtI(4) complexes, and the ordered (3 x 3)-iodine layer all appeared stable during rinsing with blank solution, free of I(-) and the Pt complex (PtCl(4)(2-)).