Surface Science: Foundations of Catalysis and Nanoscience

Chapter 3. Chemisorption, Physisorption & Dynamics: Supplemental Material

    What is now called the Fritz-Haber-Institute of the Max-Planck-Society was founded in 1911 as the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry. Fritz Haber, who was awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was its first director. In 1986 Gerhard Ertl succeeded Heinz Gerischer as director of the Department of Physical Chemistry and was appointed Scientific Fellow at the institute. His research interests focus on structure and chemical reactions at solid surfaces, for which he was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2008 Ertl was succeeded by Martin Wolf. A joint Computer Center (Gemeinsames Rechenzentrum, GRZ) for the Fritz-Haber Institute and the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics was opened in 1986. In July 1988 Matthias Scheffler was appointed Scientific Fellow of the institute and director of the Theory Department. The department specializes in surface theory as well as solid state research, quantum chemistry, and computational physics. In 1995 Robert Schloegl was appointed Scientific Fellow of the institute and the Department of Inorganic Chemistry was established. This department concentrates on heterogeneous reactions on inorganic surfaces. Oxidation reactions of carbons and metals are studied as well as a range of heterogeneous catalytic processes involving partial oxidation and dehydrogenation steps. The goal of this experimental research is to bridge the gap between surface physics and surface chemistry. In 1995, Hans-Joachim Freund became director of the Department of Chemical Physics , its objectives being studies of adsorption and reaction on solids, in particular, on oxide surfaces. In 2002 Gerard Meijer was appointed as a new director at the institute, and he installed the new Department of Molecular Physics. Respective renovations and rebuilding started in autumn 2002, and the new department is expected to be operational in autumn 2003.

Max von Laue, winner of the 1914 Nobel Prize in Physics, was elected director of the Fritz-Haber-Institut in 1951.

Otto Stern won the 1943 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contribution to the development of the molecular ray method and his discovery of the magnetic moment of the proton. Now we call them molecular beams and his use of H and He beams demonstrated that wavelike behavior is not limited to subatomic particles and photons.

Here is more information on some of my interestes in adsorption and desorption dynamics.

The European Network Dynamics of Gas-Surface Interactions, can be found here.

The University of Liverpool Surface Science Center is a hotbed of activity in surface dynamics.

Questions and Exercises

  1. Why are diffusion barriers smaller for physisorbates than chemisorbates?
  2. Discuss how the occupation of an orbital can be different in the adsorbed phase compared to occupation of that orbital in the gas phase.
  3. By looking at the profile of an orbital in energy space, how can you tell whether it is associated with strong or weak chemisorption?
  4. Superspecular scattering of a molecular beam from a flat surface is indicative of what?
  5. How can activated and nonactivated adsorption be distinguished experimentally?
  6. What distinguishes direct adsorption from precursor mediated adsorption?
  7. What is meant by 'steering' during adsorption?
  8. If the sticking coefficient increases with increasing kinetic energy, how should the translational temperature relate to the surface temperature in a thermal desorption experiment?
  9. Why does the appearance of islands on Pt(111) that has been exposed to Xe at low Ts imply that the Xe/Pt interaction potential is flat?
  10. Why is Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetics the most likely to be observed in heterogeneous catalytic reactions?

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