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Issue 32, 2017
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Increased thermal stability of activated N2 adsorbed on K-promoted Ni{110}

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Abstract

Industrial synthesis of ammonia takes place at high temperatures and pressures via the dissociative adsorption of molecular nitrogen on a transition metal catalyst. In contrast, biological ammonia synthesis occurs under ambient conditions via the hydrogenation of intact molecular nitrogen at the active site of an enzyme. We hypothesise that the latter process may be mimicked within an inorganic system if the intact nitrogen molecule can be polarised, rendering it particularly susceptible to attack by hydrogen. Furthermore, by analogy with the surface chemistry of carbon monoxide at alkali-modified nickel and cobalt surfaces, we consider whether such a polarisation may be achieved by coadsorption with potassium on the same or similar transition metals. Here, we report on reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy results, interpreted with the aid of first-principles density functional calculations, which reveal both similarities and differences between the behaviour of carbon monoxide and nitrogen. Importantly, our calculations suggest that the surface-induced dipole of molecular nitrogen can indeed be enhanced by the coadsorbed alkali metal.

Graphical abstract: Increased thermal stability of activated N2 adsorbed on K-promoted Ni{110}

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Mar 2017, accepted on 03 Jul 2017 and first published on 08 Aug 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01694H
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 21848-21855
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    Increased thermal stability of activated N2 adsorbed on K-promoted Ni{110}

    T. Liu, I. Temprano and S. J. Jenkins, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 21848
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01694H

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