American Chemical Society
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Step Site-Specific Semihydrogenation of Acetylene on the Au Surface

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-08-12, 13:20 authored by Zongfang Wu, Fang Wang, Guanghui Sun, Feng Xiong, Botao Teng, Weixin Huang
Supported Au catalysts are highly selective and size-sensitive in catalytic hydrogenation of alkynes under mild conditions. Using thermal-programmed desorption and density functional theory calculations, we study the hydrogenation reactions of C2 hydrocarbons with atomic H and clarify the site-specific selective hydrogenation of C2H2 on Au(997) at low temperatures. On atomic H­(a) covered Au(997), hydrogenation of C2H2 goes with 100% selectivity to C2H4 at steps, yet no hydrogenation occurs at terraces; adsorbed C2H4 on neither steps nor terraces reacts with H­(a). DFT calculations suggest that the increased adsorption free energies and appropriate reaction barriers of C2 species at steps lead to the step-site specific semihydrogenation of C2H2. These results elucidate the elementary surface reactions between C2 hydrocarbons and atomic H on Au surfaces at the molecular level and significantly deepen the fundamental understanding of the unique selectivity of Au catalysts.