A Comparison of the Reflection -Absorption Infrared Method with the Electron Energy Loss Method for Studying Vibrations at Surfaces
Our original insight into the geometric structure of molecules resulted from an understanding of their infrared absorption spectra, which was interpreted in terms of the vibrations and rotations of the molecules. Although the vibrational spectra of molecules can be used for a wide variety of investigations, the primary information yielded by a spectrum concerns the geometric structure of the molecule and the nature of the bonds between the atoms. When we obtain the vibrational spectrum of molecules adsorbed on a solid surface, we obtain the same kind of information; but now the geometric structure includes the surface atoms to which the molecule is attached and we get information not only about the intramolecular bonds but also about the bonds between the adsorbed molecule and the surface atoms.
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