Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
H.L. Abbott, A. Bukoski and I. Harrison. Journal of Chemical Physics, 121, 3792 (2004).
A three-parameter microcanonical theory of gas-surface reactivity is used to investigate the
dissociative chemisorption of methane impinging on a Ni~100! surface. Assuming an apparent threshold energy for dissociative chemisorption of E0=65 kJ/mol, contributions to the dissociative sticking coefficient from individual methane vibrational states are calculated: (i) as a function of molecular translational energy to model nonequilibrium molecular beam experiments and (ii) as a function of temperature to model thermal equilibrium mbar pressure bulb experiments. Under fairly typical molecular beam conditions (e.g., Et>25 kJ/mol, Ts>475 K, Tn<400 K), sticking from methane in the ground vibrational state dominates the overall sticking. In contrast, under thermal equilibrium conditions at temperatures T>100 K the dissociative sticking is dominated by methane in vibrationally excited states, particularly those involving excitation of the nu4 bending mode. Fractional energy uptakes f j defined as the fraction of the mean energy of the reacting gas-surface collision complexes that derives from specific degrees of freedom of the reactants (i.e., molecular translation, rotation, vibration, and surface) are calculated for thermal dissociative chemisorption. At 500 K, the fractional energy uptakes are calculated to be f t = 14%, f r = 21%, f v = 40%, and fs = 25%. Over the temperature range from 500 K to 1500 K relevant to thermal catalysis, the incident gas-phase molecules supply the preponderance of energy used to surmount the barrier to dissociative chemisorption, fg = ft + fr + fv ~ 75%, with the highest energy uptake always coming from the molecular vibrational degrees of freedom. The predictions of the statistical, mode-nonspecific microcanonical theory are compared to those of other dynamical theories and to recent experimental data.
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