Reflection-absorption infrared and thermal desorption studies of carbon monoxide and hydrogen adsorbed on rhodium

Michael G. Wells*, Noel W. Cant, Robert G. Greenler

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    Reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopic and thermal desorption techniques have been used to study the interaction of mixtures of carbon monoxide and hydrogen with evaporated rhodium films. For equimolar mixtures near 10-9 Torr, hydrogen adsorbed much more rapidly, but long exposure times or increases in CO pressures to 10-6 Torr led to its partial, but never complete, displacement by adsorbed carbon monoxide. Hydrogen desorption spectra taken during the displacement process showed two peaks which was consistent with a cooperative interaction between adsorbed CO and H species. In contrast to previous transmission studies of CO adsorption on small rhodium particles, the present reflection-absorption infrared study of the film system showed a single absorption band at 2075 ±10 cm-1. While explanations for the discrepancy in terms of particle size effects are possible it is considered more likely that all CO molecules are linearly bound to individual Rh atoms in the present situation. In our work, increases in CO pressure (especially above 10-6 Torr) were accompanied by an upward frequency shift (from 2065 cm-1 to 2085 cm-1) and a narrowing in half width (from 25 to 17 cm-1). Several possible explanations for the latter unusual effect are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)541-554
    Number of pages14
    JournalSurface Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 1977


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