Structure sensitive reaction channels of molecular hydrogen on silicon

By: M. Dürr, M. B. Raschke, E. Pehlke, and U. Höfer

Physical Review Letters 86, 123 (2001)

The ability of the Si(001) surface to adsorb H2 molecules dissociatively increases by orders of magnitude when appropriate surface dangling bonds are terminated by H atoms. Through molecular beam techniques the energy dependent sticking probability at different adsorption sites on H-precovered and stepped surfaces is measured to obtain information about the barriers to adsorption, which decrease systematically with an increase in coadsorbed H atoms. With the help of density functional calculations for interdimer adsorption pathways, this effect is traced back to the electronic structure of the different adsorption sites and its interplay with local lattice distortions.