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Vibrational temperature of the adlayer in the ‘hot-atom’ reaction mechanism


  • Tomellini, Massimo


The hot-atom reaction mechanism brings about reaction rates several orders of magnitude higher than those expected in the case of adatoms which have thermalized with the surface. This paper addresses the issue of a possible thermodynamic characterization of the adlayer under reactive conditions and at the steady state. In turn, this implies having to determine the temperature of the adatoms. This is done by means of a nonequilibrium statistical thermodynamic approach, by exploiting a suitable definition of the entropy. The interplay between reaction rate, vibrational temperature of the adatoms and adsorbed quantities is highlighted. This paper shows that the vibrational temperature depends on reaction rate, logarithmically and exhibits a non-linear scaling on physical quantities linked to the energetics of the reaction, namely the adsorption energy and the binding energy of the molecule. The present modeling is also discussed in connection with response equations of nonequilibrium thermodynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomellini, Massimo, 2013. "Vibrational temperature of the adlayer in the ‘hot-atom’ reaction mechanism," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(4), pages 875-888.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:392:y:2013:i:4:p:875-888
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2012.10.024

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