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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 1 Issue 2 (1996), S1430-4171(96)02026-2

A Laboratory Study of Heterogeneous Catalysis in Ultrahigh Vacuum

M. M. Walczak,1 H. R. Burkholder,2 and P. A. Thiel2*

1St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Ave., Northfield, MN 55057-1098, USA and 2Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA

Published online: 25 May 1996

Abstract. A surface science experiment has been developed that can be used in both the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Students study the mechanism of carbon monoxide oxidation using a platinum foil catalyst, and they also get hands-on experience with ultrahigh vacuum equipment. Using temperature programmed desorption, students study the desorption of carbon monoxide and oxygen from platinum foil in vacuum. The study allows students to determine that the Langmuir-Hinshelwood reaction mechanism operates in this catalytic system.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; surface; catalysis; ultrahigh vacuum; oxidation; TPD; desorption; Langmuir-Hinshelwood; Eley-Rideal; physical chemistry laboratory; platinum; carbon monoxide

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (203 KB)

Issue date: May 25, 1996

The Chemical Educator 1996-2018