Pd-Hydrogen Nano Technology Study with a Scanning Tunneling Microscope

PID Analyzers: Jack Driscoll Suffolk University: Ben Anacleto, Walter Johnson, Francesca Little, Pol Perov, Prashant Sharma, Nat Steinsultz Contact Information: John Driscoll (pidguy@aol.com) Walter Johnson (wjohnson@suffolk.edu)

We are studying the adsorption properties and interaction of hydrogen on a thin film of Pd nanoparticles on a silicon substrate. Using a scanning tunneling microscope we examined the surface of two samples of Pd to observe the size and arrangement of the Pd nanoparticles. We then exposed the surface to a 1% mixture of hydrogen gas with argon to determine if there were observable changes in the surface. We also used a multiwavelength ellipsometer to observe the ellipsometric parameters psi and delta of a reflected beam from the palladium surface to determine how these parameters changed due to hydrogen exposure.

OBJECTIVE

Suffolk University

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These are three images of the same sample of 300 Å Pd taken at different points during exposure to Hydrogenated gas. They were taken before gassing, at the end of gassing and after the gas had been cleared out of the chamber. The changes in the surface of the sample can be seen as the surface particles grow larger. Once the gas is turned off, the valleys between the surface particles grow wider and deeper. Two red circles have been placed onto the images to indicate identical points in the images and to show areas where the topology has noticeably changed.

These are two images of the same sample of 100 Å Pd at different times. The image on the left is the sample right before the sample was exposed to the Hydrogenated gas and the image to the right is the image after it had been exposed for 15 minutes. The location of the sample drifted over time due to gravity, but the changes in the sample can be observed by using certain features as landmarks. A structural change in the surface can be observed by noticing that surface particles grow taller and the valleys between them grow deeper. Two red circles have been placed onto the images to indicate identical points in both images and to show areas where the topology has noticeably changed.

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The scanning tunneling microscope examination of the Pd surface revealed a collection of oblonged shaped nanoparticles with the largest dimension being approximately 7 nm. Measurement of the surface prior to exposure to hydrogen revealed peaks and valleys varying approximately . The same location on the surface was examined while the surface was exposed to a mixture of 1% H with argon gas. With absorption of hydrogen, the Pd nanoparticle surface changed producing deeper valleys and higher peaks ranging from . Measurements with the ellipsometer before and after exposure to hydrogen on the 300 Anstrom sample showed a slight but significant decrease in Psi of abou 0.2 degrees in the 500 to 650nm range. There was a large decrease in delta of between 1 and 2 degrees from 500 to 650nm.

CONCLUSION

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