High-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy was used to study the coadsorption of alkali metals (Na, K) and oxygen on clean and CO-modified Ni(111) surfaces. We unambiguously show that on an alkali-precovered surface, the alkali-O bond was not formed upon O2 exposure. On the contrary, the alkali-O bond was readily observed by exposing to O2 the Ni(111) surface precovered with an alkali+CO phase. This enhanced oxidation rate of alkali metals in the presence of CO molecules was ascribed to the short-range CO-induced modification of the electronic charge of alkali-metal adatoms.
American Institute of Physics
28 Jan 2010
Volume: 132 Issue: 4 Pages: 044706
The Journal of chemical physics