Chemisorption of ethylene and acetylene on ultrathin Pd films on Mo(100)

John M. Heitzinger, Steven C. Gebhard, Bruce E. Koel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Previous studies of the chemisorption properties of ultrathin (mono-, bi-, and trilayer) metal films have usually focused on CO adsorption. While the CO adsorption energy on these Pd films is often decreased, CO is one of the strongest π-acceptor ligands and probes mainly one aspect of the chemistry of these surfaces. We report here the first detailed study on ultrathin metal films of the chemisorption of two unsaturated hydrocarbons, C2H4 and C2H2, which initially bond to the surface as σ-donors and can rehybridize to form strong metal-carbon bonds. The adsorption and dehydrogenation of ethylene and acetylene on monolayer and ultrathin Pd films on Mo(100) were investigated using Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), temperature-programmed desorption (TPD), and high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS). The pseudomorphic monolayer of Pd on Mo(100) has greatly altered chemisorption properties for C2H4. Ethylene is weakly chemisorbed on the Pd monolayer, and the adsorbed species is much less rehybridized from sp2 in the gas phase toward sp3 on this surface compared to C2H4 chemisorbed on the (100) surface of bulk Pd. In addition, a smaller fraction of the adsorbed ethylene dehydrogenates during TPD experiments on the Pd monolayer compared to thicker Pd films; i.e., the selectivity for reversible C2H4 adsorption is increased on the Pd monolayer. The weaker C2H4 chemisorption interaction of the Pd monolayer is consistent with previous CO adsorption studies, along with UV photoemission studies and electronic structure calculations showing a filled d-band. However, acetylene chemisorption is not affected like C2H4, and C2H2 is strongly rehybridized from sp in the gas phase toward sp3 on the Pd monolayer as it is on bulk Pd(100). We propose that the C2H2-Pd interaction is strong enough to rehybridize Pd in the monolayer back toward its normal bulk electronic structure (with a partially filled d-band) in order to have the favorable energy change from a large heat of adsorption for C2H2 and strong Pd-C bonding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5327-5332
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of physical chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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