Catalysis Letters

, Volume 149, Issue 3, pp 744–752 | Cite as

Insight into the Mechanism of Ethylene Decomposition Over Co(0001) Surface: Formation of Carbon Species

  • Minhua Zhang
  • Heyuan Huang
  • Yingzhe YuEmail author


Ethylene decomposition over Co(0001) surface has been systematically studied by spin-polarized density functional theory calculations aiming to investigate the detail mechanism at the atomic level. All C–H bond and C–C bond scission reactions were computed and all the intermediates were considered. It is concluded that the C–H bond breaking reaction is always advantageous for a species possessing both C–H scission and C–C scission modes. C2 cluster is practicable formed during ethylene decomposition, which is coincide with experiment results. However, the high activated barrier blocks the C–C bond scission reaction of C2. After comparative analysis, two pathways of C2 cluster formation and two pathways of carbon monomer formation were proposed. These results provide novel information on ethylene decomposition over Co(0001), deepening our understanding of relevant catalytic reactions such as the carbon deposition and initial path to graphene formation.

Graphical Abstract


Ethylene decomposition Carbon species formation Co(0001) surface First-principle 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest about this article.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3094 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Green Chemical Technology of Ministry of Education, R&D Center for Petrochemical TechnologyTianjin UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and EngineeringTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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