Transition metal catalyzed bond formation is a fundamental process in catalysis and is of general interest throughout chemistry. To date, however, the knowledge of association reactions is rather limited, relative to what is known about dissociative processes. For example, surprisingly little is known about how the bond-forming ability of a metal, in general, varies across the Periodic Table. In particular, the effect of reactant valency on such trends is poorly understood. Herein, the authors examine these key issues by using density functional theory calculations to study CO and CN formations over the 4d metals. The calculations reveal that the chemistries differ in a fundamental way. In the case of CO formation, the reaction enthalpies span a much greater range than those of CN formation. Moreover, CO formation is found to be kinetically sensitive to the metal; here the reaction barriers (E-a) are found to be influenced by the reaction enthalpy. CN formation, conversely, is found to be relatively kinetically insensitive to the metal, and there is no correlation found between the reaction barriers and the reaction enthalpy. Analysis has shown that at the final adsorbed state, the interaction between N and the surface is relatively greater than that of O. Furthermore, in comparison with O, relatively less bonding between the surface and N is observed to be lost during transition state formation. These greater interactions between N and the surface, which can be related to the larger valency of N, are found to be responsible for the relatively smaller enthalpy range and limited variation in E-a for CN formation. (C) 2007 American Institute of Physics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics