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Isolation of an Intrinsic Precursor to Molecular Chemisorption

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Science  23 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5350, pp. 542-544
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5350.542

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Abstract

Over the past 70 years, numerous gas-surface adsorption studies have indicated the existence of a weakly bound, mobile intermediate that is a precursor to chemical bond formation. The direct observation and characterization of such a species are presented. Precursor and chemisorbed benzene on a silicon surface were clearly distinguished with the use of a tunable-temperature scanning tunneling microscope. Precursor decay to chemisorption was observed, allowing the salient features of the potential energy surface to be determined.

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