3He spin-echo scattering indicates hindered diffusion of isolated water molecules on graphene-covered Ir(111)

Signe Kyrkjebø, Andrew Cassidy*, Sam Lambrick, Andrew Jardine, Bodil Holst, Liv Hornekær

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The dynamics of water diffusion on carbon surfaces are of interest in fields as diverse as furthering the use of graphene as an industrial-coating technology and understanding the catalytic role of carbon-based dust grains in the interstellar medium. The early stages of water–ice growth and the mobility of water adsorbates are inherently dependent on the microscopic mechanisms that facilitate water diffusion. Here, we use 3He spin-echo quasi-inelastic scattering to probe the microscopic mechanisms responsible for the diffusion of isolated water molecules on graphene-covered and bare Ir(111). The scattering of He atoms provides a non-invasive and highly surface-sensitive means to measure the rate at which absorbates move around on a substrate at very low coverage. Our results provide an approximate upper limit on the diffusion coefficient for water molecules on GrIr(111) of (Formula presented.)  m2/s, an order of magnitude lower than the coefficient that describes the diffusion of water molecules on the bare Ir(111) surface. We attribute the hindered diffusion of water molecules on the GrIr(111) surface to water trapping at specific areas of the corrugated moiré superstructure. Lower mobility of water molecules on a surface is expected to lead to a lower ice nucleation rate and may enhance the macroscopic anti-icing properties of a surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1229546
JournalFrontiers in chemistry
Volume11
ISSN2296-2646
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • graphene
  • helium-3 spin-echo scattering
  • iridium
  • surface diffusion
  • surface dynamics
  • wettability

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