Chemical Physics and Dynamics of Surfaces – Nanoparticles – Supported nanocatalysts growth and reactivity


  • Permanent members: Romain Bernard, Yves Borensztein, Hervé Cruguel, Geoffroy Prévot

Supported metallic nanoparticles have a prominent place in the field of catalysis. Haruta’s discovery showing that Au nanoparticles catalytic activity exceptionally improves when their size is reduced down to a few nm triggered an intense and fruitful research activity in catalysis. Thanks to operando techniques such as scanning tunneling microscopy, x-ray photoemission spectroscopy and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, we follow the growth and evolution under reactive gas of metal nanoparticles obtained by physical vapor deposition on oxide substrates.

FigureEvolution under oxygen of Au, Cu and Au-Cu nanoparticles epitaxied on TiO2(110). a) after growth. b) after oxygen exposure to O2 during a few minutes at 10−5 mbar. Size 170 × 170 nm2. The detailed analysis (c) shows that particles with more than 20% of Au are stable.



  • SOLEIL (SIXS beam line)
  • ENS Lyon
  • Institut Néel


Past PhD

  • Axel Wilson (2014)



  • Axel Wilson, Aude Bailly, Romain Bernard, Yves Borensztein, Alessandro Coati, et al.. Gas-induced selective re-orientation of Au-Cu nanoparticles on TiO 2 (110). Nanoscale, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, 11 (2), pp.752-761. ⟨10.1039/C8NR07645F⟩. ⟨hal-01971706⟩
  • Mathilde Iachella, Axel Wilson, Ahmed Naitabdi, Romain Bernard, Geoffroy Prévot, et al.. Promoter effect of hydration on the nucleation of nanoparticles: direct observation for gold and copper on rutile TiO 2 (110). Nanoscale, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, 8 (36), pp.16475 – 16485. ⟨10.1039/c6nr02466a⟩. ⟨hal-01469602⟩
  • A. Wilson, Romain Bernard, Yves Borensztein, Bernard Croset, Hervé Cruguel, et al.. Critical Au Concentration for the Stabilization of Au-Cu Nanoparticles on Rutile against Dissociation under Oxygen. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, American Chemical Society, 2015, 6 (11), pp.2050-2055. ⟨10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b00791⟩. ⟨hal-01238939⟩
  • A. Wilson, Romain Bernard, Adriana Vlad, Yves Borensztein, A. Coati, et al.. Epitaxial growth of bimetallic Au-Cu nanoparticles on TiO2(110) followed in situ by scanning tunneling microscopy and grazing-incidence x-ray diffraction. Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (1998-2015), American Physical Society, 2014, 90 (7), pp.075416. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.90.075416⟩. ⟨hal-01238953⟩