Understanding the fundamental process of chemisorption has important implications, especially for heterogeneous catalysis. Using alkali metal on metal surfaces provides a model system for this type of adsorption. The system is both simple and complex, having only a single valence electron, but difficult and contradictory behavior when explored experimentally.
In this collaboration between Penn State University and Lappeenranta University of Technology, Huang et al study potassium adsorped on Pb(1 0 0). Using low-energy electron diffraction and density functional theory they show how K adsorption on Pb(1 0 0) displays a similar surface reconstruction to that of other low-index Pb surfaces, and has brought us this week’s Image of the week.
The image, in a very colourful and slightly psychedelic, way shows where in the structure delocalized electrons build up, which has implcations for determining the type of bonding happening between the alkali metal and the metal surface.
We hope you enjoy the image, as well as the article.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
Image adapted from Y-T Huang et al 2015 J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 27 345001.
Categories: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter