The synthesis of high-value fuels and plastics starting from small hydrocarbon molecules plays a central role in the current transition towards renewable energy. However, the detailed mechanisms driving the growth of hydrocarbon chains remain to a large extent unknown. Here we investigated the formation of hydrocarbon chains resulting from acetylene polymerization on a Ni(111) model catalyst surface. Exploiting X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy up to near-ambient pressures, the intermediate species and reaction products have been identified. Complementary in situ scanning tunneling microscopy observations shed light onto the C-C coupling mechanism. While the step edges of the metal catalyst are commonly assumed to be the active sites for the C-C coupling, we showed that the polymerization occurs instead on the flat terraces of the metallic surface.

In Situ Observation of C-C Coupling and Step Poisoning During the Growth of Hydrocarbon Chains on Ni(111)

Sala, Alessandro;Comelli, Giovanni;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The synthesis of high-value fuels and plastics starting from small hydrocarbon molecules plays a central role in the current transition towards renewable energy. However, the detailed mechanisms driving the growth of hydrocarbon chains remain to a large extent unknown. Here we investigated the formation of hydrocarbon chains resulting from acetylene polymerization on a Ni(111) model catalyst surface. Exploiting X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy up to near-ambient pressures, the intermediate species and reaction products have been identified. Complementary in situ scanning tunneling microscopy observations shed light onto the C-C coupling mechanism. While the step edges of the metal catalyst are commonly assumed to be the active sites for the C-C coupling, we showed that the polymerization occurs instead on the flat terraces of the metallic surface.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3038403
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