We present a combination of theoretical calculations and experiments for the low-lying vibrational excitations of H and D atoms adsorbed on the Pt(111) surface. The vibrational band states are calculated based on the full three-dimensional adiabatic potential energy surface obtained from first-principles calculations. For coverages less than three quarters of a monolayer, the observed experimental high-resolution electron peaks at 31 and 68 meV are in excellent agreement with the theoretical transitions between selected bands. Our results convincingly demonstrate the need to go beyond the local harmonic oscillator picture to understand the dynamics of this system.
- electron energy loss spectroscopy
- first-principles calculations
- surface diffusion
- vibrations of adsorbed molecules