The adsorption of water (D2O) molecules on Rh(111) at 20 K was investigated using infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS). At the initial stage of adsorption, water molecules exist as monomers on Rh(111). With increasing water coverage, monomers aggregate into dimers, larger clusters (n = 3-6), and two-dimensional (2D) islands. Further exposure of water molecules leads to the formation of three-dimensional (3D) water islands and finally to a bulk amorphous ice layer. Upon heating, the monomer and dimer species thermally migrate on the surface and aggregate to form larger clusters and 2D islands. Based on the temperature dependence of OD stretching peaks, we succeeded in distinguishing water molecules inside 2D islands from those at the edge of 2D islands. From the comparison with the previous vibrational spectra of water clusters on other metal surfaces, we conclude that the number of water molecules at the edge of 2D islands is comparable with that of water molecules inside 2D islands on the Rh(111) surface at 20 K. This indicates that the surface migration of water molecules on Rh(111) is hindered as compared with the cases on Pt(111) and Ni(111) and thus the size of 2D islands on Rh(111) is relatively small.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry