The chemical reactivity of a metal alloy surface is studied by density functional theory investigating the interaction of H2 with NiAl(110). The energy barrier for H2 dissociation is largely different over the Al and Ni sites without, however, reflecting the barriers over the single component metal surfaces. This local chemical behavior is due to the covalent nature of the ( H2 σg)-(Ni 3dz2) and ( H2 σu*)-(Ni 3dxz) interactions. Thus, it cannot be described in terms of the Harris-Andersson model (i.e., Pauli repulsion and its weakening by empty d states).
Bibliographical noteCopyright (1995) by the American Physical Society.