High pressure catalytic processes studied by infrared-visible sum frequency generation

Paul S. Cremer, Xingcai Su, Gabor A. Somorjai, Y. Ron Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The recent development of infrared-visible sum frequency generation (SFG), a surface-specific vibrational spectroscopy, has helped bridge the pressure gap between studies of heterogeneous catalysis under high vacuum and atmospheric pressure. This is achieved by in situ monitoring of surface species at high pressure via their SFG vibrational spectra and correlating the results with the simultaneously measured reaction rate using gas chromatography. Examples of systems studied include olefin hydrogenation and carbon monoxide oxidation over the (111) crystalline face of platinum. In these examples, the studies succeed in revealing the molecular details of the surface reactions. Identification of key intermediates and their concentrations has made it possible for the first time to calculate turn over rates per active surface species rather than just per exposed surface metal atom. In all cases, the key intermediate of the reaction is not detectable on the surface in UHV under similar temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-241
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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