Bimetallic catalysts are often more active and/or selective than their monometallic counterparts. The behaviour of such catalysts is frequently strongly dependent on the molar ratio of the two elements as well as nanoparticle size and the interaction with the support material. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is an excellent surface analytical technique for probing the electronic properties of catalytic systems. When a mixture of pure and alloyed particles is present, it is more difficult to extract information from XPS given that it is a spatial averaging technique. Recently, the technique of medium energy ion scattering (MEIS) has been exploited to investigate the depth-dependent composition of nanoparticles on planar surfaces. Herein, we combine the two techniques to investigate the nature of Cu and Au nanoparticles deposited onto ultrathin CeO2 films on Si(1 1 1) examining their morphology and chemical composition as a function of annealing temperature for samples that have been maintained in an ultrahigh vacuum environment and exposed to air. The Cu/Au/CeO2/Si(1 1 1) is chosen as a model system in order to provide insight into how the catalytic properties of Cu/Au/CeO2 depend on the presence of discrete Cu and Au particles versus fully intermixed Cu/Au systems.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Applied Surface Science|
|Early online date||28 Oct 2021|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2022|