The desorption of CO from a Pd(111) surface following absorption of 120 fs pulses of 780 nm light occurs on two distinct and well-separated time scales. Two-pulse correlation measurements show a fast subpicosecond decay followed by a slower, ∼40 ps decay, Simulations based on the two-temperature model of electron and phonon heat baths within the substrate, and an empirical friction model to treat coupling to the adsorbate, support the assignment of the desorption mechanism as an electron-mediated process. The photodesorption yield and overall width of the temporal response exhibit a marked dependence on the initial surface temperature in the 100-375 K range despite the much higher transient electronic temperatures (∼7000 K) achieved. The observed temperature dependences can be attributed directly to variations in the initial temperature within the frictional coupling picture. Simulations of this extended data set imply that the activation barrier to photoinduced desorption is equal in magnitude to that derived from thermal desorption experiments for this system within the limits of a one-dimensional Arrhenius desorption model. The simulations also imply that the slower decay is not the result of phonon-driven desorption. Though we cannot unambiguously determine the strength of the adsorbate-phonon coupling, our results suggest that its role is to moderate the degree of the adsorbate excitation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry