Metal nanoparticles deposited on oxide supports are essential to many technologies, including catalysts, fuel cells and electronics. Therefore, understanding the chemical bonding strength between metal nanoparticles and oxide surfaces is of great interest. The adsorption energetics, adhesion energy and adsorbate structure of Ag on dehydrated HCa2Nb3O10(001) nanosheets at 300 K have been studied using metal adsorption calorimetry and surface spectroscopies. These dehydrated (“dh”) calcium niobate nanosheets “(dh-HCa2Nb3O10(001))” have stoichiometry Ca4Nb6O19. They impart unusual stability to metal nanoparticles when used as catalyst supports and are easy-to-prepare by Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) techniques, highly ordered, and essentially single-crystal surfaces of mixed oxides with a huge ratio of terrace to edge sites. Below monolayer coverage, Ag grows on dh-HCa2Nb3O10(001) as 2D islands of thickness ~2 layers. The differential heat of Ag adsorption is initially ~303 kJ/mol, increasing slowly to ~338 kJ/mol by 0.8 ML. At higher coverages, Ag atoms mainly add on top of these 2D islands, growing 3D nanoparticles of increasing thickness, as the heat decreases asymptotically towards silver’s heat of sublimation (285 kJ/mol). The adhesion energy of Ag(s) to this Ca niobate surface is estimated to be 4.33 J/m2, larger than on any oxide surface previously measured. This explains the sinter resistance reported for metal nanoparticles on this support. Electron transfer from Ag into the calcium niobate is also measured. These results demonstrate an easy way to do single-crystal-type surface science studies – and especially thermochemical measurements – on the complex surfaces of mixed oxides: using LB-deposited perovskite nanosheets and ultrahigh vacuum annealing in O2.
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