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Combined Experimental and Theoretical Study of Methyl Acetoacetate Adsorption on Ni{100}

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journal contribution
posted on 05.03.2018, 00:00 by Panayiotis Tsaousis, Jorge Ontaneda, Luca Bignardi, Roger A. Bennett, Ricardo Grau-Crespo, Georg Held
The enantioselective hydrogenation of methyl acetoacetate (MAA) over modified Ni-based catalysts is a key reaction in the understanding of enantioselective heterogeneous catalysis as it represents the only example of this class of reactions catalyzed by base metals. Yet, there is very little molecular-level information available about the adsorption complex formed by the reactants on Ni surfaces. Here, we report a combined experimental and theoretical study of the adsorption of MAA on the Ni{100} surface. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy shows that MAA forms stable multilayers at low temperatures, which desorb between 200 and 220 K. At higher temperatures a single chemisorbed layer is formed, which decomposes between 300 and 350 K. Density functional theory modeling predicts an enolate species with bidentate coordination as the most stable chemisorbed species. Comparison of photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption data with simulations using this adsorption model show good qualitative and quantitative agreement. The molecular plane is tilted with respect to the surface plane by about 50°. This breaking of symmetry provides a mechanism for the enantioselective hydrogenation.