Adsorption of acrolein, propanal, and allyl alcohol on Pd(111): a combined infrared reflection–absorption spectroscopy and temperature programmed desorption study
Atomistic-level understanding of the interaction of α,β-unsaturated aldehydes and their derivatives with late transition metals is of fundamental importance for the rational design of new catalytic materials with the desired selectivity towards CC vs. CO bond partial hydrogenation. In this study, we investigate the interaction of acrolein, and its partial hydrogenation products propanal and allyl alcohol, with Pd(111) as a prototypical system. A combination of infrared reflection–absorption spectroscopy (IRAS) and temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments was applied under well-defined ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions to obtain detailed information on the adsorption geometries of acrolein, propanal, and allyl alcohol as a function of coverage. We compare the IR spectra obtained for multilayer coverages, reflecting the molecular structure of unperturbed molecules, with the spectra acquired for sub-monolayer coverages, at which the chemical bonds of the molecules are strongly distorted. Coverage-dependent IR spectra of acrolein on Pd(111) point to the strong changes in the adsorption geometry with increasing acrolein coverage. Acrolein adsorbs with the CC and CO bonds lying parallel to the surface in the low coverage regime and changes its geometry to a more upright orientation with increasing coverage. TPD studies indicate decomposition of the species adsorbed in the sub-monolayer regime upon heating. Similar strong coverage dependence of the IR spectra were found for propanal and allyl alcohol. For all investigated molecules a detailed assignment of vibrational bands is reported.