Adsorption of H2O on clean and on boron-contaminated Rh surfaces

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The adsorption and dissociation of H2O on Rh(111) and Rh foil surfaces have been studied in UHV using Auger electron, electron energy loss (in the electronic range) and thermal desorption spectroscopy. H2O adsorbs weakly on clean Rh samples at 110 K. The adsorption is accompanied by the appearance of a broad loss feature at 14-14.5 eV. At higher exposures new losses appeared at 8.6 and 10.5 eV. The desorption of H2O took place in two stages, with Tp = 183 K (β, chemisorption) and 158 K (α, multilayer formation). There was no indication of dissociation of H2O on a clean Rh(111) surface. Similar results were obtained for a clean Rh foil. However, when small amounts of boron segregated on the surface of Rh, they exerted a dramatic influence on the adsorptive properties of this surface and caused the dissociation of H2O. This was exhibited by the formation of H2, by the buildup of surface oxygen, by the appearance of an intense new loss at 9.4 eV, identified as B-O surface species, and by the development of "boron-oxide"-like Auger fine structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-206
Number of pages16
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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