University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Nanoscopic diffusion of water on a topological insulator.

Tamtogl, Anton, Sacchi, Marco, Avidor, Nadav, Calvo-Almazan, Irene, Townsend, Peter, Bremholm, Martin, Hofmann, Philip, Ellis, John and Allison, William (2020) Nanoscopic diffusion of water on a topological insulator. Nature Communications, 11, 278.

s41467-019-14064-7.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


The microscopic motion of water is a central question, but gaining experimental information about the interfacial dynamics of water in fields such as catalysis, biophysics and nanotribology is challenging due to its ultrafast motion, and the complex interplay of inter-molecular and molecule-surface interactions. Here we present an experimental and computational study of the nanoscale-nanosecond motion of water at the surface of a topological insulator (TI), Bi2Te3. Understanding the chemistry and motion of molecules on TI surfaces, while considered a key to design and manufacturing for future applications, has hitherto been hardly addressed experimentally. By combining helium spin-echo spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations, we are able to obtain a general insight into the diffusion of water on Bi2Te3. Instead of Brownian motion, we find an activated jump diffusion mechanism. Signatures of correlated motion suggest unusual repulsive interactions between the water molecules. From the lineshape broadening we determine the diffusion coefficient, the diffusion energy and the pre-exponential factor.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemistry
Authors :
Tamtogl, Anton
Avidor, Nadav
Calvo-Almazan, Irene
Townsend, Peter
Bremholm, Martin
Hofmann, Philip
Ellis, John
Allison, William
Date : 14 January 2020
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2020, Springer Nature
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 23 Jan 2020 14:37
Last Modified : 05 Feb 2020 10:06

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800