Reactivity of free clusters
Recent studies of the reactions of free or isolated transition metal clusters with simple molecules will be reviewed. Cluster chemical reactions are carried out in a laser-vaporization cluster source coupled to a continuous-flow reactor. Reactions can be categorized as chemisorptive (or surface) reactions, and bulk reactions. Chemisorptive reactions can be characterized as facile, in which most cluster sizes of a given metal are equally reactive towards a particular reagent, or activated, in which strong dependence of reactivity on cluster size is found. Under the normal operating conditions of the cluster reactor, a reaction may be kinetically controlled or at equilibrium. Following chemisorption, adsorbate decomposition and product desorption may occur. Specific reactions to be discussed include the reactions of iron clusters with ammonia and with water and the reactions of nickel clusters with ammonia.
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