Microscopic identification of a bimolecular reaction intermediate

Hiroshi Uetsuka, Akira Sasahara, Akira Yamakata, Hiroshi Onishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


How a molecule impinging from an ambient phase attaches to and reacts with a preadsorbed reactant was studied by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). A carboxylate (RCOO-) chemisorbed on a TiO2(110) surface was exchanged by another carboxylate (R′COO-) via an SN2-like mechanism when the RCOO--covered TiO2 surface was exposed to R′COOH vapor at room temperature or below. An R′COOH impinging from the gas phase was temporarily bound to a preadsorbed RCOO- yielding a bimolecular intermediate. The trapped R′COOH was inserted into the monolayer and dissociated to produce an adsorbed R′COO-. One of the carboxylates (RCOO- or R′COO-) was then pushed out of the monolayer to restore the intermediate and released to the vapor phase. The individual reaction steps were resolved using time-lapse imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11549-11552
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - Nov 7 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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