Deprotonating a base: High-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy and ultrahigh-vacuum infrared spectroscopy have been used to determine that high surface coverage can induce proton transfer from adsorbed ammonia to surface oxygen atoms on both single crystals and nanoparticles of ZnO (see picture; Zn blue sticks, O red, N blue spheres, H yellow). These observations are supported by DFT calculations.
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