Toward Vibrational Mode Control in Catalysis

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Science  03 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5642, pp. 70-71
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090172

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Vibrational excitations of specific bonds in molecules have been used to enhance the reactivity of the molecules in direct gas-phase reactions. In his Perspective, Luntz highlights a report by Beck et al., who show that such vibrational control may also be possible for catalytic reactions at a surface. The authors demonstrate that differently excited deuterated methane molecules have different dissociation probabilities on a nickel surface, even though the energies of the different molecules are similar.