The important role of N2H formation energy for low-temperature ammonia synthesis in an electric field

Kota Murakami, Yuta Tanaka, Ryuya Sakai, Kenta Toko, Kazuharu Ito, Atsushi Ishikawa, Takuma Higo, Tomohiro Yabe, Shuhei Ogo, Masatoshi Ikeda, Hideaki Tsuneki, Hiromi Nakai, Yasushi Sekine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Development of a highly efficient ammonia synthesis process is desirable for achieving a sustainable society. Regarding conventional heterogeneous catalysts, Ru-supported catalyst exhibits higher turn-over frequency (TOF) than Fe-supported or Ni-supported catalysts. However, we found that Fe-supported and Ni-supported catalysts show higher TOF than Ru-supported catalyst in an electric field at the low temperature of 373 K. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations revealed that N2 dissociation through the “associative mechanism” plays a key role in the electric field. The ammonia synthesis activity in the electric field is determined by the N2H formation energy at the metal-support interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalCatalysis Today
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1


  • Ammonia synthesis
  • DFT calculation
  • Reaction mechanism
  • Ru-catalyst
  • Surface protonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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