Ammonia synthesis on three metal surfaces (Zr, Ru, and Pd) is investigated using density functional theory calculations. In addition to N-2 dissociation, all the transition states of the hydrogenation reactions from N to NH3 are located and the reaction energy profiles at both low and high surface coverages are compared and analyzed. The following are found: (i) Surface coverage effect on dissociation reactions is more significant than that on association reactions. (ii) The difference between N and H chemisorption energies, the so-called chemisorption energy gap which is a measure of adsorption competition, is vital to the reactivity of the catalysts. (iii) The hydrogenation barriers can considerably affect the overall rate of ammonia synthesis. A simple model to describe the relationship between dissociation and association reactions is proposed. (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics