Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lonely atoms, happily reunited

The remarkable behaviour of platinum atoms on magnetite surfaces could lead to better catalysts. Scientists can now explain how platinum atoms can form pairs with the help of carbon monoxide. At first glance, magnetite appears to be a rather inconspicuous grey mineral. But on an atomic scale, it has remarkable properties: on magnetite, single metal atoms are held in place, or they can be made to move across the surface. Sometimes several metal atoms on magnetite form small clusters. Such phenomena can dramatically change the chemical activity of the material. Atomic processes on the magnetite surface determine how well certain metal atoms can serve as catalysts for chemical reactions.

from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/2auo7VZ
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