Infoscience

Journal article

Vibrational Activation of Methane Chemisorption: The Role of Symmetry

Quantum state-resolved reactivity measurements probe the role of vibrational symmetry on the vibrational activation of the dissociative chemisorption of CH4 on Pt(111). IR–IR double resonance excitation in a molecular beam is used to prepare CH4 in all three different vibrational symmetry components A1, E, and F2 of the 2ν3 antisymmetric stretch overtone vibration. Methyl dissociation products chemisorbed on the cold Pt(111) surface are detected via reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS). We observe similar reactivity for CH4 prepared in the A1 and F2 sublevels but up to a factor of 2 lower reactivity for excitation of the E sublevel. It is suggested that differences in the localization of the C–H stretch amplitudes for the three states at the transition state leads to the observed difference in reactivity rather than state-specific vibrational energy transfer to electronic excitation of the metal

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