The thermal decomposition of azomethane on Pt(111)

David Jentz, Michael Trenary*, X. D. Peng, Peter Stair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The thermal decomposition of azomethane, CH3N=NCH3, and methylamine, CH3NH2,on Pt(111) has been investigated by reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS) and temperature programmed reaction spectroscopy (TPRS). Using the surface dipole selection rule of RAIRS and comparing with the IR and Raman spectra of solidtrans-andcis-azomethane, we find thattrans-azomethane converts tocis-azomethane upon adsorbing onto the Pt(111) surface at 84 K. Additionally, we propose that thecis-azomethane tautomerizes to formaldehyde methylhydrazone, CH3NHN=CH2, which subsequently undergoes N-N bond cleavage between 200 and 275 K. Above 300 K aminomethylidyne, CNH2, is formed. Aminomethylidyne is also formed on the methylamine dosed surface. Cyanogen, C2N2(g), formed from the combination of CNads was also observed by TPRS as a minor reaction product. A comparison of the IR spectra of azomethane and methylamine dosed surfaces indicates the formation of chemisorbed methylamine as one intermediate in the decomposition of azomethane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-294
Number of pages13
JournalSurface Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 10 1995


  • Azomethane
  • Chemisorption
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Low index single crystal surfaces
  • Metallic surfaces
  • Methylamine
  • Platinum
  • Reflection spectroscopy
  • Solid-gas interfaces
  • Thermal desorption
  • Vibrations of adsorbed molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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