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Assisted Deprotonation Of Formic Acid On Cu(111) And Self-assembly Of 1D Chains.

A. Baber, K. Mudiyanselage, S. Senanayake, Alba Beatriz-Vidal, Kyle A. Luck, E. Sykes, P. Liu, J. Rodríguez, D. Stacchiola
Published 2013 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Formic acid (HCOOH) deprotonates on the open surfaces of Cu(110) and Cu(100) when exposed at 300 K. However, this does not occur on the close-packed surface of clean Cu(111). In this study, we show that the deprotonation of formic acid on atomically flat Cu(111) surfaces can be induced by pre-adsorbing polymeric formic acid clusters at low temperatures, and then annealing the system to break the acidic O-H bond of HCOOH adsorbed on the edges of the polymeric clusters. The thermal activation of HCOOH to bidentate formate was studied using a combination of infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy. Extended 1D formate structures self-assemble due to a templating effect introduced by the formation of long α-polymeric formic acid chains commensurate with the substrate.
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