A Nonthermal Chemicurrent Effect of Hydrogen Adsorption on Pt/SiC Planar Nanostructures at Normal Ambient Conditions

Reaction induced currents in planar metal/semiconductor nanostructures can provide a direct insight into underlying charge transfer processes involved in chemical energy dissipation at solid surfaces. This letter provides clear evidence of the nonthermal nature of chemicurrent induced by H-2 adsorption on a Pt/SiC nanostructure at room temperature in 760 Torr N-2/O-2 mixtures with various oxygen fractions. The thermal effect of the reaction is reproduced also with admission of N-2 molecules to the sample. Only the process with H-2 leads to a detectable chemicurrent proving participation of nonthermal electrons in the charge transfer induced by hydrogen evolution on the nanostructure surface.

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