Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Wilfred T Tysoe

Committee Members

Peter V Kotvis, Jorg C Woehl, Arsenio A Pacheco, Alan W Schwabacher


Confinement, Mechanochemistry, Self Assembly, Surface Science, Tribology, Ultra High Vacuum


This work studies model systems that are relevant to understanding the fundamentals of surface chemical processes. A Cu(100) single crystal surface modified by methyl thiolate species, formed from the adsorption of dimethyl disulfide, is used for modeling the effect of an external force in a chemical reaction. Furthermore, 2D-Zeolite is synthesized, characterized and postulated as a model system for studying chemistry in confined space. Furfural adsorption on Pd(111) is studied under different experimental conditions by means of infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy. Furfural uptake experiments from sub-monolayer to multilayer coverages and sequential heating lead to an analysis of conformational changes and tilting angles as a function of coverage and temperature. Finally, surface self-assembly processes are explored by means of Monte Carlo simulations that produce results with potential use as a general computational model for studying the interconnection of distributed particles on surfaces.