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See detailCatalysis beyond frontier molecular orbitals: Selectivity in partial hydrogenation of multi-unsaturated hydrocarbons on metal catalysts
Liu, Wei; Jiang, Yingda; Dostert, Karl-Heinz et al

in Science Advances (2017), 3

The mechanistic understanding and control over transformations of multi-unsaturated hydrocarbons on transition metal surfaces remains one of the major challenges of hydrogenation catalysis. To reveal the ... [more ▼]

The mechanistic understanding and control over transformations of multi-unsaturated hydrocarbons on transition metal surfaces remains one of the major challenges of hydrogenation catalysis. To reveal the microscopic origins of hydrogenation chemoselectivity, we performed a comprehensive theoretical investigation on the reactivity of two a,b-unsaturated carbonyls—isophorone and acrolein—on seven (111) metal surfaces: Pd, Pt, Rh, Ir, Cu, Ag, and Au. In doing so, we uncover a general mechanism that goes beyond the celebrated frontier molecular orbital theory, rationalizing the C--C bond activation in isophorone and acrolein as a result of significant surface-induced broadening of high-energy inner molecular orbitals. By extending our calculations to hydrogen-precovered surface and higher adsorbate surface coverage, we further confirm the validity of the “inner orbital broadening mechanism” under realistic catalytic conditions. The proposed mechanism is fully supported by our experimental reaction studies for isophorone and acrolein over Pd nanoparticles terminated with (111) facets. Although the position of the frontier molecular orbitals in these molecules, which are commonly considered to be responsible for chemical interactions, suggests preferential hydrogenation of the C--O double bond, experiments show that hydrogenation occurs at the C--C bond on Pd catalysts. The extent of broadening of inner molecular orbitals might be used as a guiding principle to predict the chemoselectivity for a wide class of catalytic reactions at metal surfaces. [less ▲]

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See detailAdsorption of isophorone and trimethyl-cyclohexanone on Pd(111): A combination of infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy and density functional theory studies
Dostert, Karl-Heinz; O'Brien, Casey P.; Liu, Wei et al

in Surface Science (2016), 650

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See detailInteraction of Isophorone with Pd(111): A Combination of Infrared Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy, Near-Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure, and Density Functional Theory Studies
Dostert, Karl-Heinz; O'Brien, Casey P.; Riedel, Wiebke et al

in JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C (2014), 118(48), 27833-27842

Atomistic level understanding of interaction of alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyls with late transition metals is a key prerequisite for rational design of new catalytic materials with the desired ... [more ▼]

Atomistic level understanding of interaction of alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyls with late transition metals is a key prerequisite for rational design of new catalytic materials with the desired selectivity toward C-C or C-O bond hydrogenation. The interaction of this class of compounds with transition metals was investigated on alpha,beta-unsaturated ketone isophorone on Pd(111) as a prototypical system. In this study, infrared reflectionabsorption spectroscopy (IRAS), near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) experiments and density functional theory calculations including van der Waals interactions (DFT+vdW) were combined to obtain detailed information on the binding of isophorone to palladium at different coverages and on the effect of preadsorbed hydrogen on the binding and adsorption geometry. According to these experimental observations and the results of theoretical calculations, isophorone adsorbs on Pd(111) in a flat-lying geometry at low coverages. With increasing coverage, both C-C and C-O bonds of isophorone tilt with respect to the surface plane. The tilting is considerably more pronounced for the C-C bond on the pristine Pd(111) surface, indicating a prominent perturbation and structural distortion of the conjugated p system upon interaction with Pd. Preadsorbed hydrogen leads to higher tilting angles of both p bonds, which points to much weaker interaction of isophorone with hydrogen-precovered Pd and suggests the conservation of the in-plane geometry of the conjugated pi system. The results of the DFT+vdW calculations provide further insights into the perturbation of the molecular structure of isophorone on Pd(111). [less ▲]

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See detailToward Low-Temperature Dehydrogenation Catalysis: Isophorone Adsorbed on Pd(111)
Liu, Wei; Savara, Aditya; Ren, Xinguo et al

in Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2012), 3(5), 582-586

Adsorbate geometry and reaction dynamics play essential roles in catalytic processes at surfaces. Here we present a theoretical and experimental study for a model functional organic/metal interface ... [more ▼]

Adsorbate geometry and reaction dynamics play essential roles in catalytic processes at surfaces. Here we present a theoretical and experimental study for a model functional organic/metal interface: isophorone (C9H14O) adsorbed on the Pd(111) surface. Density functional theory calculations with the Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhoff (PBE) functional including van der Waals (vdW) interactions, in combination with infrared spectroscopy and temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) experiments reveal the reaction pathway between the weakly chemisorbed reactant (C9H14O) and the strongly chemisorbed product (C9H10O), which occurs by the cleavage of four C-H bonds below 250 K. Analysis of the TPD spectrum is consistent with the relatively small magnitude of the activation barrier derived from PBE+vdW calculations, demonstrating the feasibility of low-temperature dehydrogenation. [less ▲]

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