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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 109(3): 686-9, 2012 Jan 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22219370


New important applications of copper metal, e.g., in the areas of hydrogen production, fuel cell operation, and spent nuclear fuel disposal, require accurate knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of stable and metastable copper compounds. Among the copper(I) compounds with oxygen and hydrogen, cuprous oxide Cu(2)O is the only one stable and the best studied. Other such compounds are less known (CuH) or totally unknown (CuOH) due to their instability relative to the oxide. Here we combine quantum-mechanical calculations with experimental studies to search for possible compounds of monovalent copper. Cuprous hydride (CuH) and cuprous hydroxide (CuOH) are proved to exist in solid form. We establish the chemical and physical properties of these compounds, thereby filling the existing gaps in our understanding of hydrogen- and oxygen-related phenomena in Cu metal.

J Chem Phys ; 135(8): 084709, 2011 Aug 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21895215


Hydrogen gas has been detected in a closed system containing copper and pure anoxic water [P. Szakalos, G. Hultquist, and G. Wikmark, Electrochem. Solid-State Lett. 10, C63 (2007) and G. Hultquist, P. Szakalos, M. Graham, A. Belonoshko, G. Sproule, L. Grasjo, P. Dorogokupets, B. Danilov, T. Aastrup, G. Wikmark, G. Chuah, J. Eriksson, and A. Rosengren, Catal. Lett. 132, 311 (2009)]. Although bulk corrosion into any of the known phases of copper is thermodynamically forbidden, the present paper shows how surface reactions lead to the formation of hydrogen gas in limited amounts. While water cleavage on copper has been reported and investigated before, formation of molecular hydrogen at a single-crystal Cu[100] surface is here explored using density functional theory and transition state theory. It is found that although solvent catalysis seems possible, the fastest route to the formation of molecular hydrogen is the direct combination of hydrogen atoms on the copper surface. The activation free energy (ΔG(s)(‡)(f)) of hydrogen formation in condensed phase is 0.70 eV, which corresponds to a rate constant of 10 s(-1) at 298.15 K, i.e., a relatively rapid process. It is estimated that at least 2.4 ng hydrogen gas could form per cm(2) on a perfect copper surface.