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Title: Chemical and Morphological Inhomogeneity of Aluminum Metal and Oxides from Soft X-ray Spectromicroscopy

Oxygen and aluminum K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), imaging from a scanning transmission X-ray microscope (STXM), and first-principles calculations were used to probe the composition and morphology of bulk aluminum metal, α- and γ-Al 2 O 3 , and several types of aluminum nanoparticles. The imaging results agreed with earlier transmission electron microscopy studies that showed a 2 to 5 nm thick layer of Al 2 O 3 on all the Al surfaces. Spectral interpretations were guided by examination of the calculated transition energies, which agreed well with the spectroscopic measurements. The features we observed in the experimental O and Al K-edge XAS were used to determine the chemical structure and phase of the Al 2 O 3 on the aluminum surfaces. For unprotected 18 and 100 nm Al nanoparticles, this analysis revealed an oxide layer that was similar to γ-Al 2 O 3 and comprised of both tetrahedral and octahedral Al coordination sites. For oleic acid-protected Al nanoparticles, only tetrahedral Al oxide coordination sites were observed. Our results were correlated to trends in the reactivity of the different materials, which suggests that the structures of different Al 2 O 3 layers have an important role in the accessibilitymore » of the underlying Al metal toward further oxidation. Combined, the Al K-edge XAS and STXM results provided detailed chemical information that was not obtained from powder X-ray diffraction or imaging from a transmission electron microscope.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [5]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Chemical Sciences Division; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Molecular Foundry
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Chemical Sciences Division
  4. Air Force Research Lab. (AFRL), Wright-Patterson AFB, OH (United States)
  5. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Advanced Light Source
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Inorganic Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 56; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0020-1669
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: