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Science. 2002 Sep 20;297(5589):2033-5.

Autocatalytic oxidation of lead crystallite surfaces.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.

Abstract

Growth of an ultrathin lead oxide layer causes massive changes in the shape of lead crystallites. The dynamics of this process was investigated with time-lapsed scanning tunneling microscopy. Pure lead crystallites proved extremely resistant to oxidation. Once nucleated by surface impurities, monolayer films of lead oxide grew readily on lead (111) microfacets in an autocatalytic process. The anisotropic growth of orthorhombic lead oxide films (massicot structure) was most rapid along the direction of weakest lead-oxygen bonding, which suggests that the growth edge autocatalyzes oxygen dissociation by providing proximal sites for oxygen dissociation and attachment.

PMID:
12242437
DOI:
10.1126/science.297.5589.2033
[PubMed]
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