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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2011 Jun 21;13(23):11034-44. doi: 10.1039/c1cp20357f. Epub 2011 May 10.

Interactions of oxygen and ethylene with submonolayer Ag films supported on Ni(111).

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School of Material Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA.


We investigate the oxidation of, and the reaction of ethylene with, Ni(111) with and without sub-monolayer Ag adlayers as a function of temperature. The addition of Ag to Ni(111) is shown to enhance the activity towards the ethylene epoxidation reaction, and increase the temperature at which ethylene oxide is stable on the surface. We present a systematic study of the formation of chemisorbed oxygen on the Ag-Ni(111) surfaces and correlate the presence and absence of O(1-) and O(2-) surface species with the reactivity towards ethylene. By characterizing the samples with low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM) in combination with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), we have identified specific growth of silver on step-edge sites and successfully increased the temperature at which the produced ethylene oxide remains stable, a trait which is desirable for catalysis.


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