The Chemistry of Bulk Hydrogen: Reaction of Hydrogen Embedded in Nickel with Adsorbed CH3

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Science  10 Jul 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5067, pp. 223-225
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5067.223


Studies in heterogeneous catalysis have long speculated on or have provided indirect evidence for the role of hydrogen embedded in the catalyst bulk as a primary reactant. This report describes experiments carried out under single-collision conditions that document the distinctive reactivity of hydrogen embedded in the bulk of the metal catalyst. Specifically, the bulk H atom is shown to be the reactive species in the hydrogenation of CH3 adsorbed on Ni(111) to form CH4, while the H atoms bound to the surface were unreactive. These results unambiguously demonstrate the importance of bulk species to heterogeneous catalytic chemistry.

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