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Self-Catalyzed Carbon Dioxide Adsorption by Metal–Organic Chains on Gold Surfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 26.08.2014, 00:00 by Min Feng, Hao Sun, Jin Zhao, Hrvoje Petek
Efficient capture of CO2 by chemical means requires a microscopic understanding of the interactions of the molecule–substrate bonding and adsorption-induced collective phenomena. By molecule-resolved imaging with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), we investigate self-catalyzed CO2 adsorption on one-dimensional (1D) substrates composed of self-assembled metal–organic chains (MOCs) supported on gold surfaces. CO2 adsorption turns on attractive interchain interactions, which induce pronounced surface structural changes; the initially uniformly dispersed chains gather into close packed bundles, which are held together by highly ordered, single molecule wide CO2 ranks. CO2 molecules create more favorable adsorption sites for further CO2 adsorption by mediating the interchain attraction, thereby self-catalyzing their capture. The release of CO2 molecules by thermal desorption returns the MOCs to their original structure, indicating that the CO2 capture and release are reversible processes. The real space microscopic characterization of the self-catalyzed CO2 adsorption on 1D substrates could be exploited as platform for design of molecular materials for CO2 capture and reduction.