The thermal decomposition of ethylene on Ni(111) at 250°C is shown to lead to carbon deposition on and - in a later stage - below the surface. Independent of the amount of carbon below the surface, CO is adsorbed with an isosteric heat of adsorption of 105 kJ/mol. The surface carbon reacts with oxygen at 250°C. The reaction rate is independent of the surface carbon coverage and first order in oxygen pressure. The subsurface carbon segregates to the surface after removal of the surface carbon layer
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