HREM studies of the structure and the oxidation process of copper clusters created by inert gas aggregation
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Structure and reactivity with oxigen of Cu clusters in the size range of 4.5±2.5 nm created by the inert gas aggregation technique were studied by HREM. The pure Cu clusters investigated under clean conditions show the structures of MTP's with a small lattice dilatation of the (111) plane of 1.25%. For icosahedral and decahedral particles this dilatation corresponds to a splitting of the nearest neighbour distance showing two different values, i.e. dilatation of 2.2% and contraction of 2.8% for the two edges of the deformed tetrahedral subunits, respectively. Oxidation at room temperature and air pressure of 1 bar only begins after a few minutes of exposure to air, after having undergone creation of probably non-stoichiometric intermediate states in the cuprite Cu2O structure with the bulk values of the bond lengths.
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