Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The interaction of oxygen with a reactive metal is ubiquitous, yet the precise atomic-level mechanisms and pathways leading to the formation of a surface oxide are not well-understood. We report oxygen atom distributions inside Rh single nanoparticles using atom probe microscopy (APM) and demonstrate that mainly facets of the «022¯» crystallographic directions act as oxygen-permeable gateways. The highly anisotropic spatial distribution of incorporated oxygen atoms is in agreement with video-field emission analyses according to which {113} facets of the «022¯» zones act as portals for subsurface diffusion. In addition to providing a more fundamental understanding of the precursor states to metal corrosion, in particular for the case of nanosized metal particles, our studies are also relevant for heterogeneous catalysis where catalytic activity and selectivity conform to reaction-induced structural changes of metal nanoparticles.