High-Pressure Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of a Silver Surface during Catalytic Formation of Ethylene Oxide


  • We gratefully acknowledge financial support by the German Science Foundation (DFG) through grant WI 1003/6-1.


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The active state of a catalyst: A high-pressure scanning tunneling microscope (STM) was used to bridge the pressure gap for the Ag-catalyzed ethylene epoxidation. An active oxygen species on an Ag(111) single crystal was characterized under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. The same species was identified with STM in an ethylene/oxygen mixture (see picture). In the STM cell the formation of ethylene oxide was detected.