Razan Tanbour

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Ross Nord, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Hedeel Evans, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Deborah Heyl-Clegg, Ph.D.


81% of all rhodium (Rh) is used in automobile catalytic converters. Consequently, researchers have dedicated a lot of effort into understanding the behavior of nonmetal oxides on a Rh surface. Using a computer simulation program, we have studied the absorption and oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) on a terraced Rh surface (lattice) with a width of three and a height of 10000 using a mechanism that describes the behavior at low temperatures. Varying the reaction activation energies (rate constants), and the mobility of the CO, led to changes in the surface coverages of oxygen and CO. Specifically, increasing the activation energies generally led to increased CO saturation coverages, but the effect upon oxygen depended on other conditions. The distribution of the CO molecules bound to the surface seems to weakly depend upon the specific rate constants, the mobility, and the activation energies specified for the mechanism. These results have led to an improved understanding of how the results are influenced by the variables specified in the mechanism.

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Chemistry Commons