Time-Resolved Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy

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Science  18 Oct 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4723, pp. 256-261
DOI: 10.1126/science.230.4723.256


Two recent instrumental improvements in high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy make possible the recording of complete surface vibrational spectra on the millisecond time scale. This is the first spectroscopic probe capable of directly measuring fundamental surface rate processes in real time with a resolution less than or equal to 1 millisecond. Such measurements are the key to understanding surface kinetics at the molecular level. This article summarizes experiments on the adsorption and decomposition of formic acid on Cu(100) to investigate the temperature and coverage dependence of the formate intermediate. Other results are cited that provide a detailed description of the decomposition of methanol on Ni(110). Also reported are direct measurements of the residence time of carbon monoxide on Cu(100) and the associated desorption kinetics.