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Reactions at Solid Surfaces

ISBN: 978-0-470-53528-8
150 pages
June 2010
Reactions at Solid Surfaces (0470535288) cover image


Expanding on the ideas first presented in Gerhard Ertl's acclaimed Baker Lectures at Cornell University, Reactions at Solid Surfaces comprises an authoritative, self-contained, book-length introduction to surface reactions for both professional chemists and students alike.

Outlining our present understanding of the fundamental processes underlying reactions at solid surfaces, the book provides the reader with a complete view of how chemistry works at surfaces, and how to understand and probe the dynamics of surface reactions.

Comparing traditional surface probes with more modern ones, and bringing together various disciplines in a cohesive manner, Gerhard Ertl's Reactions at Solid Surfaces serves well as a primary text for graduate students in introductory surface science or chemistry, as well as a self-teaching resource for professionals in surface science, chemical engineering, or nanoscience.

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Table of Contents


1. Basic principles.

1.1. Introduction: The surface science approach.

1.2. Energetics of chemisorption.

1.3. Kinetics of chemisorption.

1.4. Surface diffusion.


2. Surface structure and reactivity.

2.1. Influence of the surface structure on reactivity.

2.2. Growth of two-dimensional phases.

2.3. Electrochemical modification of surface structure.

2.4. Surface reconstruction and transformation.

2.5. Subsurface species and compound formation.

2.6. Epitaxy.


3. Dynamics of molecule/surface interactions.

3.1. Introduction.

3.2. Scattering at surfaces.

3.3. Dissociative adsorption.

3.4. Collision-induced surface reactions.

3.5. ‘‘Hot’’ adparticles.

3.6. Particles coming off the surface.

3.7. Energy exchange between adsorbate and surface.


4. Electronic excitations and surface chemistry.

4.1. Introduction.

4.2. Exoelectron emission.

4.3. Internal electron excitation: ‘‘chemicurrents’’.

4.4. Electron-stimulated desorption.

4.5. Surface photochemistry.


5. Principles of heterogeneous catalysis.

5.1. Introduction.

5.2. Active sites.

5.3. Langmuir–Hinshelwood versus Eley–Rideal mechanism.

5.4. Coadsorption.

5.5. Kinetics of catalytic reactions.

5.6. Selectivity.


6. Mechanisms of heterogeneous catalysis.

6.1. Synthesis of ammonia on iron.

6.2. Synthesis of ammonia on ruthenium.

6.3. Oxidation of carbon monoxide.

6.4. Oxidation of hydrogen on platinum.


7. Oscillatory kinetics and nonlinear dynamics.

7.1. Introduction.

7.2. Oscillatory kinetics in the catalytic CO oxidation on Pt(110).

7.3. Forced oscillations in CO oxidation on Pt(110).


8. Spatiotemporal self-organization in surface reactions.

8.1. Introduction.

8.2. Turing patterns and electrochemical systems.

8.3. Isothermal wave patterns.

8.4. Modification and control of spatiotemporal patterns.

8.5. Thermokinetic effects.

8.6. Pattern formation on microscopic scale.



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Author Information

Gerhard Ertl received his PhD in physical chemistry in 1965 from the Technical University of Munich. He is currently Professor Emeritus at Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany, where he was also the Director of the Department of Physical Chemistry from 1986–2004. In addition to winning the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces, his many awards received over the years include the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the Karl Ziegler Prize, the Otto Hahn Prize, and the Japan Prize. He is an acknowledged leader in the field of surface science.
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"The text is well written and easy to read, and the material is illustrated throughout with excellent figures that really bring the subject material alive." (Chemistry World, March 2010)

"[This book] can serve as a primary text for graduate students in introductory surface science or chemistry, as well as a resource for professionals in surface science, chemical engineering, or nanoscience." (Book News, December 2009)
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