Deuterium dissociation on ordered Sn/Pt(111) surface alloys

P. Samson, A. Nesbitt, B. E. Koel, A. Hodgson

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We have explored the effect of alloying an unreactive metal, Sn, on the dynamics of D2 dissociative chemisorption at Pt(111). By comparing D2 sticking and recombinative desorption on Pt(111) with that on the ordered p(2×2) Sn/Pt(111) and (3×3)R30° Sn/Pt(111) surface alloys, we examine the influence of the local surface composition on reactivity. The energy dependence of D2 sticking S(E) has been measured for all three surfaces using a hyperthermal beam. We find that the activation barrier for dissociative chemisorption is low on the p(2×2) alloy, but the sticking probability is reduced, compared to Pt(111), by an increase in the steric constraint on the dissociation site. Sticking on the (3×3)R30° alloy is inefficient at thermal energies with a threshold of ∼280 meV, below which the sticking probability falls exponentially. The increase in the barrier to D2 dissociation occurs as the stable, high coordination Pt3-D binding sites are lost by formation of the (3×3)R30° alloy. Despite the large activation barrier, sticking is dominated by the vibrational ground state with the barrier occurring in the entrance channel, before the D2 bond has stretched. Departures from a normal energy scaling indicate that the dissociation site is localized in the unit cell and we suggest favorable dissociation sites on the alloy surfaces. Estimates for the heats of adsorption, obtained by comparing activation energies to adsorption and desorption, indicate an abrupt decrease in the D binding energy as the Pt3 sites are lost. We show that sticking and desorption parameters are consistent with an increasing steric constraint for adsorption/desorption on the alloy surfaces as the Sn content is increased and an increase in the barrier to dissociation as the stable Pt3 sites are lost by alloying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3255-3264
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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