Ledieu, J.; Gaudry, E.; Serkovic Loli, Laura Natalia; Alarcón Villaseca, S.; Weerd, M.-C. de; Hahne, Michael; Gille, Peter; Grin, Yuri; Dubois, J.-M.; Fournée, V.
Structural investigation of the (010) surface of the Al13Fe 4 catalyst.
In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 110, No. 7
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We have investigated the structure of the Al13Fe 4(010) surface using both experimental and ab initio computational methods. The results indicate that the topmost surface layers correspond to incomplete puckered (P) planes present in the bulk crystal structure. The main building block of the corrugated termination consists of two adjacent pentagons of Al atoms, each centered by a protruding Fe atom. These motifs are interconnected via additional Al atoms referred to as \"glue\" atoms which partially desorb above 873 K. The surface structure of lower atomic density compared to the bulk P plane is explained by a strong Fe-Al-Fe covalent polar interaction that preserves intact clusters at the surface. The proposed surface model with identified Fe-containing atomic ensembles could explain the Al13Fe4 catalytic properties recently reported in line with the site-isolation concept [M. Armbrüster, Nat. Mater. 11, 690 (2012)NMAACR1476-1122].