Enantioselective Surface Explosions

Monday, November 8, 2010: 8:30 AM
Topaz Room (Hilton)
A.J. Gellman, Ye Huang, Vladimir Pushkarev and Feng Xu, Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

The high Miller index surfaces of single crystal metals have chiral structures and interact enantiospecifically with chiral adsorbates. The enantiospecificity of surface reaction kinetics is dictated by the enantiospecificity of surface reaction energetics but can also be influences by reaction order. Recently, it has been shown that tartaric acid decomposes with explosive reaction kinetics on Cu(110) surfaces. Tartaric acid is chiral and on naturally chiral Cu surfaces such as Cu(643), Cu(653), Cu(17,5,1), and Cu(531) the non-linear nature of the reaction kinetics leads to extremely high enantiospecificity. The explosive reaction kinetics originte with the need for empty surface sites for the decomposition process. At high coverages of tartaric acid the limited availablity of empty sites contrains the decomposition process. Once nucleated, however, the reaction proceeds autocatalytically and occurs over a very narrow temperature range during heating. The decomposition kinetics of R,R- and S,S-tartaric acid depend on the handedness of the Cu substrate and the decomposition features observed during temperature programmed reaction spectroscopy are completely resovled. Peak enantiospecificities in the decomposition reaction rates can reach a factor of fifty.

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See more of this Session: Topics in Surface Science and Catalysis
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