Hydrogenated graphene (H-Gr) is an extensively studied system not only because of its capabilities as a simplified model system for hydrocarbon chemistry but also because hydrogenation is a compelling method for Gr functionalization. However, knowledge of how H-Gr interacts with molecules at higher pressures and ambient conditions is lacking. Here we present experimental and theoretical evidence that room temperature O2exposure at millibar pressures leads to preferential removal of H dimers on H-functionalized graphene, leaving H clusters on the surface. Our density functional theory (DFT) analysis shows that the removal of H dimers is the result of water or hydrogen peroxide formation. For water formation, we show that the two H atoms in the dimer motif attack one end of the physisorbed O2molecule. Moreover, by comparing the reaction pathways in a vacuum with the ones on free-standing graphene and on the graphene/Ir(111) system, we find that the main role of graphene is to arrange the H atoms in geometrical positions, which facilitates the activation of the O═O double bond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14116-14124
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug 25

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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