Water clustering on nanostructured iron oxide films

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  • Lindsay Richard Merte, Denmark
  • Ralf Bechstein
  • ,
  • G. Peng, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Denmark
  • Felix Rieboldt, Denmark
  • C.A. Farberow, University of Wisconsin-Maddison, United States
  • Helene Zeuthen
  • ,
  • Jan Knudsen, Denmark
  • Erik Lægsgaard, Denmark
  • Stefan Wendt
  • Manos Mavrikakis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States
  • Flemming Besenbacher
The adhesion of water to solid surfaces is characterized by the tendency to balance competing molecule-molecule and molecule-surface interactions. Hydroxyl groups form strong hydrogen bonds to water molecules and are known to substantially influence the wetting behaviour of oxide surfaces, but it is not well-understood how these hydroxyl groups and their distribution on a surface affect the molecular-scale structure at the interface. Here we report a study of water clustering on a moire-structured iron oxide thin film with a controlled density of hydroxyl groups. While large amorphous monolayer islands form on the bare film, the hydroxylated iron oxide film acts as a hydrophilic nanotemplate, causing the formation of a regular array of ice-like hexameric nanoclusters. The formation of this ordered phase is localized at the nanometre scale; with increasing water coverage, ordered and amorphous water are found to coexist at adjacent hydroxylated and hydroxyl-free domains of the moire structure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4193
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
Number of pages9
ISSN2041-1723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

    Research areas

  • TOTAL-ENERGY CALCULATIONS; AUGMENTED-WAVE METHOD; HYDROGEN-BOND; PARTIAL DISSOCIATION; FUNDAMENTAL-ASPECTS; METAL-SURFACES; SOLID-SURFACES; BASIS-SET; ICE; ADSORPTION

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