PerspectiveChemistry

CO Prefers the Aisle Seat

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Science  12 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5967, pp. 789-790
DOI: 10.1126/science.1187483

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Summary

Atomic steps are common defects at surfaces that can play a role in many physical and chemical phenomena. This simple idea is one reason why small metal particles, which can expose many low-coordination catalytically active sites at steps (see the figure), are used in commercial catalysts. On page 850 of this issue, Tao et al. (1) show that a common molecular reactant can reversibly alter the density and arrangement of active step edge sites under realistic reaction conditions.