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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Nov 3;97(18):186102. Epub 2006 Oct 31.

Clustering of chemisorbed H(D) atoms on the graphite (0001) surface due to preferential sticking.

Author information

1
Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade bygn. 1520, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. liv@phys.au.dk

Abstract

We present scanning tunneling microscopy experiments and density functional theory calculations which reveal a unique mechanism for the formation of hydrogen adsorbate clusters on graphite surfaces. Our results show that diffusion of hydrogen atoms is largely inactive and that clustering is a consequence of preferential sticking into specific adsorbate structures. These surprising findings are caused by reduced or even vanishing adsorption barriers for hydrogen in the vicinity of already adsorbed H atoms on the surface and point to a possible novel route to interstellar H2 formation.

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