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Quantitative adsorbate structure determination under catalytic reaction conditions

American Physical Society
Publication Date
  • Mathematics


Current methods allow quantitative local structure determination of adsorbate geometries on surfaces in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) but are incompatible with the higher pressures required for a steady-state catalytic reactions. Here we show that photoelectron diffraction can be used to determine the structure of the methoxy and formate reaction intermediates during the steady-state oxidation of methanol over Cu(110) by taking advantage of recent instrumental developments to allow near-ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The local methoxy site differs from that under static UHV conditions, attributed to the increased surface mobility and dynamic nature of the surface under reaction conditions.

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