The remarkable effect of gold!

Enhancing surface reactivity with a noble metal

Chem. Commun., 2013, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CC43567A
In a recently published paper in the RSC chemical communications we show that a monolayer of gold has a remarkable activating effect on the reaction of HCl with a Cu(100) surface. Whereas the clean copper surface shows a rapid decrease in activity towards HCl as the chlorine coverage approaches the limit of the θ = 0.5 expected for a c(2×2) structure, the presence of gold on the surface, far from blocking surface sites as one would expect, enables concentrations of chlorine of in excess of θ = 2/3.  We suggest that by alloying with the copper surface the gold provides a low energy pathway to disrupting the surface monolayer.
Supported by EPSRC grant: EP/I038748/1
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