The adsorption and decomposition of trimethylamine on the clean and oxidized Mo(100) surface

B. W. Walker, P. C. Stair

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The adsorption and decomposition of trimethylamine ((CH3)3N) has been studied by LEED, Auger and thermal desorption spectroscopy on clean and oxygen pretreated Mo(100) surfaces. On the clean surface, trimethylamine initially decomposes into atomic species. After the surface has been partially passivated by these decomposition products, the adsorption of trimethylamine is molecular. Adsorption on a series of oxygen pretreated surfaces was investigated with oxygen concentrations ranging from approximately 0.8 monolayer to MoO2. Adsorption on these surfaces was purely molecular. The molecular adsorbate decomposes on heating to produce H2, N2, CO (on oxidized surfaces only), CH4 and HCN. The adsorption and decomposition of trimethylamine (saturation coverage, products and desorption temperature) is independent of oxygen concentration from the monolayer regime up to MoO2. The rate limiting step in the formation of CH4 and HCN is C-N bond breaking for trimethylamine decomposition. A dramatic reduction in the temperature for N2 desorption due to the presence of adsorbed carbon was also observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-337
Number of pages23
JournalSurface Science
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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