Science, Vol.363, No.6423, 155-+, 2019
Site-specific reactivity of molecules with surface defects-the case of H-2 dissociation on Pt
The classic system that describes weakly activated dissociation in heterogeneous catalysis has been explained by two dynamical models that are fundamentally at odds. Whereas one model for hydrogen dissociation on platinum(111) invokes a preequilibrium and diffusion toward defects, the other is based on direct and local reaction. We resolve this dispute by quantifying site-specific reactivity using a curved platinum single-crystal surface. Reactivity is step-type dependent and varies linearly with step density. Only the model that relies on localized dissociation is consistent with our results. Our approach provides absolute, site-specific reaction cross sections.