The Role of Adsorbate–adsorbate Interactions in the Rate Controlling Step and the Most Abundant Reaction Intermediate of NH3 Decomposition on Ru

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N–N adsorbate–adsorbate interactions on a Ru(0001) surface are first estimated using quantum mechanical density functional theory (DFT) calculations, and subsequently incorporated, for the first time, in a detailed microkinetic model for NH3 decomposition on Ru using the unity bond index-quadratic exponential potential (UBI–QEP) method. DFT simulations indicate that the cross N–H interactions are relatively small. Microkinetic model predictions are compared to ultra-high vacuum temperature programmed desorption and atmospheric fixed bed reactor data. The microkinetic model with N–N interactions captures the experimental features quantitatively. It is shown that the N–N interactions significantly alter the rate determining step, the most abundant reaction intermediate, and the maximum N*-coverage, compared to mechanisms that ignore adsorbate–adsorbate interactions.

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