Electronically stimulated dissociation of NO2 on Pt(111)

A. R. Burns, D. R. Jennison, E. B. Stechel

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29 Scopus citations


The electronically stimulated dissociation of NO2 on Pt(111) by 5800-eV electrons has been studied through state-selective, time-of-flight detection of the NO product above the surface. The NO leaves as a direct dissociation product, whereas the O atom remains on the surface. We find a 1015-eV dissociation threshold, which is much more energetic than the 3.1-eV gas-phase value. Because of rapid decay via resonant tunneling from substrate levels, the shallower adsorbate valence excitations have lifetimes that are too short to produce observable dissociation. The threshold corresponds to ionization of 3b2 and double ionization of 1a2 levels. Holes in these levels cannot be resonantly filled by substrate electrons and have the longest lifetimes relative to Auger decay. Screening of the hole(s) by the metal proceeds via rehybridization between the substrate levels and the 6a1 orbital of the molecule. The screening charge not only determines the lifetime, but is expected to change the excited-state ONO bond angle and NO bond length. In the gas phase this results in considerable internal excitation of the NO product. On the metal surface, however, vibrational excitation above =2 is not observed: The relative populations for =0,1,2 are (1.0):(0.96):(0.52). The average rotational energy (800 K for each vibrational level) is only 50% warmer than the zero-point energy of the ground-state bending motion of the adsorbate. Thus the screening charge must be less than unity. The observation of shifts to higher translational energy for higher rotational and vibrational states indicates the presence of different charge-transfer screening densities for the 3b2-1 and 1a2-2 excitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9485-9497
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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