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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jun 6;134(22):9320-6. doi: 10.1021/ja301608q. Epub 2012 May 22.

Localized reaction at a smooth metal surface: p-diiodobenzene at Cu(110).

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Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Halogenation at a semiconductor surface follows simple dynamics characterized by "localized reaction" along the direction of the halide bond being broken. Here we extend the study of halide reaction dynamics to the important environment of a smooth metal surface, where greater product mobility would be expected. Extensive examination of the physisorbed reagent and chemisorbed products from two successive electron-induced reactions showed, surprisingly, that for this system product localization and directionality described the dynamics at a metal. The reagent was p-diiodobenzene on Cu(110) at 4.6 K. The first C-I bond-breaking yielded chemisorbed iodophenyl and I-atom(#1), and the second yielded phenylene and I-atom(#2). The observed collinear reaction resulted in secondary encounters among products, which revealed the existence of a surface-aligned reaction. The molecular dynamics were well explained by a model embodying a transition between an a priori ground state and a semiempirical ionic state, which can be generally applied to electron-induced chemical reactions at surfaces.


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