Hydrogenation reactions at transition metal surfaces comprise a key set of reactions in heterogeneous catalysis. In this paper, density functional theory methods are employed to take an in-depth look at this fundamental reaction type. The energetics of hydrogenation of atomic C, N, and O have been studied in some detail over low index Zr, Nb, Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, and Pd surfaces. Detailed bonding analysis has also been employed to track carefully the chemical changes taking place during reaction. A number of interesting horizontal and vertical trends have been uncovered relating to reactant valency and metal d-band filling. A general correlation has also been found between the reaction barriers and the reaction potential energies. Moreover, when each reaction is considered independently, correlation has been found to improve with decreasing reactant valency. Bonding analysis has pointed to this being related to the relative position of the transition state along the reaction coordinate and has shown that as reactant valency decreases, the transition states become progressively later.
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