Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, temperature programmed thermal desorption and low-energy electron diffraction have been used to study the interaction of acetylene with a clean Ni(111) surface, with a Ni(111) surface having co-adsorbed oxygen and with an epitaxially grown NiO(111) surface produced by room temperature oxidation ofNi(111). The adsorption of a (2 × 2) overiayer of π-bonded acetylene or oxygen on the Ni(111) surface markedly alters the subsequent interaction and reaction of the surface with incident acetylene. We find that in the presence of either a (2 × 2) overiayer of oxygen or π-bonded acetylene, a new more strongly bound hydrocarbon phase forms at room temperature. We identify this new phase from its ionization levels as a CH species, and for saturation coverages we find approximately twice as many of these species as the number of π-bonded acetylene molecules in the (2 × 2) structure. Preadsorption of oxygen limits the adsorption of π-bonded acetylene but does not affect the subsequent formation of this CH species. Exposure of acetylene to NiO at room temperature produces only CH species. Based upon these results we propose idealized models for the bonding geometry of π-bonded acetylene and CH species on the Ni(111) surface. The conditions for the formation of CH species and the significance of CH species to surface reactions on Ni are also discussed. © 1977.