Probing the chemistry of CH3I on Pt-Sn alloys

Chameli Panja, E. C. Samano, Najat A. Saliba, Bruce E. Koel

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9 Scopus citations


Adsorption and reaction of CH3I (methyl iodide) on Pt(111) and the (2×2) and (√3×√3)R30° Sn/Pt(111) surface alloys was investigated primarily by using temperature programmed desorption (TPD) and high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS). CH3I adsorbs molecularly on Pt(111) at 100 K, and 34% of the adsorbed CH 3I monolayer decomposes during heating above 200 K in TPD. Competition occurs during heating within the chemisorbed layer between hydrogenation to produce methane and dehydrogenation that ultimately leads to adsorbed carbon. Alloying Sn into the Pt(111) surface decreases the heat of adsorption and the amount of decomposition of CH3I. Alloyed Sn slightly reduces the CH3I adsorption bond energy from 13.4 kcal/mol on Pt(111) to 11.4 kcal/mol on the (2×2) alloy with θ Sn=0.25 and 9.3 kcal/mol on the (√3×√3)R30° Sn/Pt(111) alloy with θSn=0.33. More notably, the Sn-Pt alloy surface strongly suppressed CH3I decomposition. Only 4% of the adsorbed CH3I monolayer decomposed on the (2×2) Sn/Pt(111) surface, and no decomposition of CH3I occurred on the (√3×√3)R30° Sn/Pt(111) surface during TPD. Methane was the only hydrocarbon desorption product observed during TPD. These results point to the importance of adjacent "pure Pt" threefold hollow sites as reactive sites for CH3I decomposition. Finally, we note that CH3I, and presumably the other short-chain alkyl halides, are not reactive enough on Pt-Sn alloys to serve as convenient thermal precursors for preparing species small alkyl groups such as CH3(a) for important basic studies of the reactivity and chemistry of alkyl groups on Pt-Sn alloys. Another approach is required such as the use of a CH3-radical source or non-thermal activation of adsorbed precursors via photodissociation or electron-induced dissociation (EID).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Mar 20 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


  • Alloys
  • Chemisorption
  • Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS)
  • Halides
  • Platinum
  • Surface chemical reaction
  • Thermal desorption
  • Tin


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