Femtosecond laser excitation has been used to initiate desorption of molecular oxygen from the (111) surface of Pd and to study the adsorption-state dependence of the substrate-adsorbate coupling. The relative populations of the two chemical states, peroxo (O2 2-) and superoxo (O2-), were varied by changing the total coverage. Two-pulse correlation measurements exhibit a dominant 400 fs response and a slower 10 ps decay that are relatively independent of the initial O2 coverage. In contrast, the photodesorption yield and the nonlinearity of the fluence dependence show a systematic coverage dependence. The coverage-independent subpicosecond response indicates that the photoinduced desorption from the two states is driven primarily by the same electron-mediated mechanism, while the coverage dependence of the yield indicates that the desorption efficiency from the superoxo state is greater than that from the peroxo state. These results are discussed in the context of the electron-phonon two-temperature model with an empirical adsorbate-electron frictional coupling that depends on both the electronic temperature and the activation energy for desorption. With a coupling strength that decreases as the activation energy decreases, the trends with varying coverage, absorbed fluence, and time delay can all be reproduced. The model is consistent with a transition from a resonantly enhanced (diabatic) regime to an adiabatic regime as the system relaxes, accounting for the biexponential correlation behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics