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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 11, 2013

Oxidation of palladium: from single crystal surfaces towards nanoparticles

Andreas Stierle


This overview highlights recent results on the oxidation of Pd obtained on low-index and vicinal single crystal surfaces as well as epitaxial Pd nanoparticles on MgO(100). The emphasis is put on X-ray diffraction experiments, which were conducted in-situ during oxidation at elevated temperatures and near atmospheric pressure. On Pd(100) the formation of an ultrathin surface oxide layer with a superstructure was observed. This layer represents a considerable kinetic barrier against PdO bulk oxide formation. A similar surface oxide forms on the Pd(553) vicinal surface after oxygen-induced faceting into (332) and (111) oriented areas. In contrast to this, Pd nanoparticles on MgO(100) below a diameter of 10 nm undergo continuous oxidation without passivation layer formation, pointing to a much higher reactivity and a lowering of kinetic barriers. These differences in the oxidation behavior give evidence for a breakdown of classical oxidation theory on the nanoscale.

* Correspondence address, Andreas Stierle Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung Heisenbergstr. 3, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany Tel.: +49 711 689 1842 Fax: +49 711 689 1902 E-mail:


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Received: 2009-5-29
Accepted: 2009-7-25
Published Online: 2013-06-11
Published in Print: 2009-10-01

© 2009, Carl Hanser Verlag, München