“Quantum state-resolved gas/surface reaction dynamics probed by reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy”
We report the design and characterization of a new molecular-beam/surface-science apparatus for quantum state-resolved studies of gas/surface reaction dynamics combining optical state-specific reactant preparation in a molecular beam by rapid adiabatic passage (RAP) with detection of surface-bound reaction products by reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS). RAIRS is a non-invasive infrared spectroscopic detection technique that enables online monitoring of the buildup of reaction products on the target surface during reactant deposition by a molecular beam. The product uptake rate obtained by calibrated RAIRS detection yields the coverage dependent state-resolved reaction probability S(θ). Furthermore, the infrared absorption spectra of the adsorbed products obtained by the RAIRS technique provide structural information, which help to identify nascent reaction products, investigate reaction pathways, and determine branching ratios for different pathways of a chemisorption reaction. Measurements of the dissociative chemisorption of methane on Pt(111) with this new apparatus are presented to illustrate the utility of RAIRS detection for highly detailed studies of chemical reactions at the gas/surface interface.