It is demonstrated, using tandem mass spectrometry and ion trap, that preadsorption of a H2O molecule on the gold dimer cation, Au2+, enhances adsorption of CO and O2 molecules, which is otherwise inert toward these molecules. The rate of adsorption of CO on Au2(H2O)+ was found to be higher by 2 orders of magnitude relative to bare Au2+. The enhancement of the CO adsorption rate is due to the presence of a reaction channel, which cleaves the Au-Au bond, leading to the formation of Au(H2O)(CO)+. Such an observation can be attributed to weakening of the Au-Au bond upon adsorption of a water molecule. Further, it was also observed that preadsorption of H2O leads to dramatic enhancement of O2 adsorption on the Au2+ ion, which can be attributed to the changes in the electron density following water adsorption.(Chemical Equation Presented).
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