Thermal and Electron-Induced Configuration Changes of NO on Cu(110)
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To understand the elementary process of the surface reactions, it is of fundamental importance to reveal the adsorption structures and dynamics on the surface at the single-molecule level. However, the direct observations of surface dynamics in single NO molecules are scarce. In this chapter, the bonding structure of NO on Cu(110) is investigated using STM, RAIRS, and EELS at 6–160 K. At low temperatures, the NO molecule is bonded to the short-bridge site via the nitrogen end in an upright configuration. This species are thermally converted into a flat-lying configuration at about 50 K, in which both the N and O atoms interact with the surface. The flat configuration is characterized by a significantly redshifted N–O stretching mode, which can be detected by EELS. At 5 K, the conversion from the flat-lying NO to the upright NO can be induced by injecting electrons using STM. The flat-lying NO flips back and forth between two orientations when the temperature increases to about 80 K. The thermal dissociation of NO eventually occurs at about 160 K. Based on these results, a potential energy diagram for the conversion of NO on the surface is proposed.
KeywordsDissociation of nitric oxide Molecular dynamics Scanning tunneling microscopy Reflection adsorption infrared spectroscopy Electron energy loss spectroscopy
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