Decomposition of fluorinated diethers on the clean iron surface

Mary E. Napier, Peter C. Stair*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Polymeric perfluoroalkylethers are being considered for use as lubricants in high temperature applications, but have been observed to catalytically decompose in the presence of metals. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and temperature programmed desorption (TPD) were used to explore the decomposition of three model fluorinated ethers on clean iron surfaces. Low temperature adsorption of the model fluorinated ethers was molecular. Defluorination of the three model compounds was observed at remarkably low temperatures, 155 K and below, with formation of iron fluoride. Preferential C-F bond scission occurred at methoxy, CF3O, of perfluoro-1-methoxy-2-ethoxy ethane and perfluoro-1-methoxy-2-ethoxy propane and at CF3 CF2O of perfluo-o-1,3-diethoxy propane. The reactivity of the iron toward perfluoroalkylether decomposition when compared to other metals is due to the strength of the iron fluoride bond and the strong electron donating ability of the metallic iron.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-214
Number of pages14
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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