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Hydrogenation on metal surfaces; why are nanoparticles more active than single crystals?

Doyle, Aidan, Shaikhutdinov, Shamil K., Jackson, S.D. and Freund, Hans-Joachim (2003) Hydrogenation on metal surfaces; why are nanoparticles more active than single crystals? Angewandte chemie international edition, 42 (42). pp. 5240-5243. ISSN 1521-3773

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Abstract

Under low-pressure conditions, hydrogenation of alkenes, such as 2-pentene and ethene, is shown to occur on supported palladium nanoparticles, whereas single-crystal palladium surfaces are inactive. This finding is rationalized on the basis of the accessibility of weakly bound subsurface hydrogen (see picture), which is enhanced on particles of nanometer dimensions.

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