Articles about this research have appeared in the following sources:
P. Xu, L. Dong, M. Neek-Amal, M.L. Ackerman, J. Yu, S.D. Barber, J.K. Schoelz, D. Qi, F. Xu, P.M. Thibado and F.M. Peeters
Freestanding graphene membranes were successfully functionalized with platinum nanoparticles (Pt NPs). High resolution transmission electron microscopy revealed a homogeneous distribution of single-crystal Pt NPs that tend to exhibit a preferred orientation. Unexpectedly, the NPs were also found to partially exposed to the vacuum with the top Pt surface raised above the graphene substrate, as deduced from atomic-scale scanning tunneling microscopy images and detailed molecular dynamics simulations (shown in an animation to the right). Local strain accumulation during the growth process is thought to be the origin of the NP self-organization. These findings are expected to shape future approaches in developing Pt NP catlysts for fuel cells as well as NP-functionalized graphene-based high-performance electronics.