University of Oulu

Mikkelä, M.-H., Jänkälä, K., Huttula, M., Björneholm, O., & Tchaplyguine, M. (2021). Free silver nanoparticles doped by potassium: Work-function change in experiment and theory. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 154(23), 234708.

Free silver nanoparticles doped by potassium : work-function change in experiment and theory

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Author: Mikkelä, Mikko-Heikki1; Jänkälä, Kari2; Huttula, Marko2;
Organizations: 1MAX-IV Laboratory, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, 22100 Lund, Sweden
2Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finlan
3Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, 75120 Uppsala, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 6.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Institute of Physics, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-06-18


The composition-dependent change in the work-function (WF) of binary silver–potassium nanoparticles has been studied experimentally by synchrotron-based x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) and theoretically using a microscopic jellium model of metals. The Ag–K particles with different K fractions were produced by letting a beam of preformed Ag particles pass through a volume with K vapor. The PES on a beam of individual non-supported Ag–K nanoparticles created in this way allowed a direct absolute measurement of their WF, avoiding several usual shortcomings of the method. Experimentally, the WF has been found to be very sensitive to K concentration: Already at low exposure, it decreased down to ≈2 eV—below the value of pure K. In the jellium modeling, considered for Ag–K nanoparticles, two principally different adsorption patterns were tested: without and with K diffusion. The experimental and calculation results together suggest that only efficient surface alloying of two metals, whose immiscibility was long-term textbook knowledge, could lead to the observed WF values.

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Series: Journal of chemical physics
ISSN: 0021-9606
ISSN-E: 1089-7690
ISSN-L: 0021-9606
Volume: 154
Article number: 234708
DOI: 10.1063/5.0052101
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
116 Chemical sciences
Dataset Reference: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
Copyright information: © 2021 Author(s). Published under an exclusive license by AIP Publishing.