Site-specific reactivity of molecules with surface defects-the case of H2 dissociation on Pt.


Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, Einsteinweg 55, Leiden 2333 CC, Netherlands. [Email]


The classic system that describes weakly activated dissociation in heterogeneous catalysis has been explained by two dynamical models that are fundamentally at odds. Whereas one model for hydrogen dissociation on platinum(111) invokes a preequilibrium and diffusion toward defects, the other is based on direct and local reaction. We resolve this dispute by quantifying site-specific reactivity using a curved platinum single-crystal surface. Reactivity is step-type dependent and varies linearly with step density. Only the model that relies on localized dissociation is consistent with our results. Our approach provides absolute, site-specific reaction cross sections.