Experimental Adsorption and Reaction Studies on Transition Metal Oxides Compared to DFT Simulations

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Virginia Tech


A temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) study of CO and NH₃ adsorption on MnO(100) with complimentary density functional theory (DFT) simulations was conducted. TPD reveals a primary CO desorption signal at 130 K from MnO(100) in the low coverage limit giving an adsorption energy of -35.6 ±2.1 kJ/mol on terrace sites. PBE+U gives a more reasonable structural result than PBE, and the adsorption energy obtained by PBE+U and DFT-D3 Becke-Johnson gives excellent agreement with the experimentally obtained ΔEads for adsorption at Mn²⁺ terrace sites. The analysis of NH₃-TPD traces revealed that adsorption energy on MnO(100) is coverage-dependent. At the low-coverage limit, the adsorption energy on terraces is -58.7±1.0 kJ/mol. A doser results in the formation of a transient NH₃ multilayers that appears in TPD at around 110K. For a terrace site, PBE+U predicts a more realistic surface adsorbate geometry than PBE does, with PBE+U with Tkatchenko-Scheffler method with iterative Hirshfeld partitioning (TSHP) provides the best prediction.

DFT simulations of the dehydrogenation elementary step of the ethyl and methyl fragments on α-Cr2O₃(101̅2) were also conducted to complement previous TPD studies of these subjects. On the nearly-stoichiometric surface of α-Cr₂O₃(101̅2), CD₃₋ undergoes dehydrogenation to produce CD₂=CD₂ and CD₄. Previous TPD traces suggest that the α-hydrogen (α-H) elimination of methyl groups on α-Cr₂O₃(101̅2) is the rate-limiting step, and has an activation barrier of 135±2 kJ/mol. DFT simulations showed that PBE gives reasonable prediction of the adsorption sites for CH3- fragments in accordance with XPS spectra, while PBE+U did not. Both PBE and PBE+U failed to predict the correct adsorption sites for CH₂=. When the simulation is set in accordance with the experimentally observed adsorption sites for the carbon species, PBE gives very accurate prediction on the reaction barrier when an adjacent I adatom is present, while PBE+U failed spectacularly. When the simulation is set in accordance with the DFT-predicted adsorption sites, PBE is still able to accurately predict the reaction barrier (<1% to 8.7% error) while PBE+U is less accurate. DFT is also used to complement the previous study of the β-H elimination an ethyl group on the α-Cr₂O₃(101̅2) surface. The DFT simulation shows that absent surface Cl adatoms, PBE predicts an activation barrier of 92.6 kJ/mol, underpredicting the experimental activation barrier by 28.7%, while PBE+U predicts a barrier of 27.0 kJ/mol, under-predicting the experimental barrier by 79.2%. The addition of chlorine on the adjacent cation improved the prediction on barrier by PBE+U marginally, while worsened the prediction by PBE marginally.

Grant information: Financial support provided by the U.S. Department of Energy through grant DE-FG02 97ER14751.



benchmark, adsorption, reaction, metal oxide, single crystal