Surface chemistry of alanine on Ni{111}

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Nicklin, R. E. J. ; Cornish, A. ; Shavorskiy, Andrey ; Baldanza, Silvia ; Schulte, K. ; Liu, Z. ; Bennett, Roger A. ; Held, Georg (2015)

The adsorption of L-alanine on Ni{111} has been studied as a 10 model of enantioselective heterogeneous catalysts. Synchrotron-based X-ray 11 photoelectron spectroscopy and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure 12 (NEXAFS) spectroscopy were used to determine the chemical state, bond 13 coordination, and out-of-plane orientation of the molecule on the surface.\ud 14 Alanine adsorbs in anionic and zwitterionic forms between 250 and ≈320 K. 15 NEXAFS spectra exhibit a strong angular dependence of the π* resonance\ud 16 associated with the carboxylate group, which is compatible with two distinct 17 orientations with respect to the surface corresponding to the bidentate and\ud 18 tridentate binding modes. Desorption and decomposition begin together at 19 ≈300 K, with decomposition occurring in a multistep process up to ≈450 K. Comparison with previous studies of amino acid 20 adsorption on metal surfaces shows that this is among the lowest decomposition temperatures found so far and lower than typical 21 temperatures used for hydrogenation reactions where modified Ni catalysts are used.
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