Coverage-dependent CO adsorption and dissociation mechanisms on iron surfaces from DFT computations

Tao Wang, Xin Xin Tian, Yong Wang Li, Jianguo Wang, Matthias Beller, Haijun Jiao

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CO adsorption structures and energetics on the iron (100), (110), (111), (210), (211), and (310) surfaces from the lowest coverage up to saturation have been computed using spin-polarized density functional theory and ab initio thermodynamics. It is found that different adsorption configurations on each of these surfaces at high coverage can coexist. The stepwise adsorption energies and dissociation barriers at different coverage reveal equilibriums between desorption and dissociation of adsorbed CO molecules. Only molecular CO adsorption is possible at very high coverage and only dissociative CO adsorption at very low coverage, whereas mixed molecular and dissociative CO adsorption becomes possible at medium coverage. The computed stable adsorption configurations and the respective C-O and Fe-C stretching frequencies as well as desorption temperatures on the (100), (110), and (111) surfaces agree very well with the available experimental data. Such agreements between theory and experiment validate our computational methods and allow us to reasonably predict the experimentally unknown CO activation mechanisms on the (210), (211), and (310) surfaces. Our results might provide some references for the study of CO related reaction mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1991-2005
Number of pages15
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number6
StatePublished - 6 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CO
  • DFT
  • adsorption
  • dissociation
  • high coverage
  • iron surfaces


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