Adsorption of formic acid on rutile TiO2 (110) revisited: An infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy and density functional theory study

Authors: A. Mattsson, Shuanglin Hu, L. Österlund, and K. Hermansson

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Formic acid (HCOOH) adsorption on rutile TiO2 (110) has been studied by s-  and p-polarized infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) and spin-polarized density functional theory together with Hubbard U contributions (DFT+U) calculations. To compare with IRRAS spectra, the results from the DFT+U calculations were used to simulate IR spectra by employing a threelayer model, where the adsorbate layer was modelled using Lorentz oscillators with calculated dielectric constants. To account for the experimental observations, four possible formate adsorption geometries were calculated, describing both the perfect (110) surface, and surfaces with defects; either O vacancies or hydroxyls. The majority species seen in IRRAS was confirmed to be the bridging bidentate formate species with associated symmetric and asymmetric frequencies of the ν(OCO) modes measured to be at 1359 cm−1 and 1534 cm−1, respectively. The in-plane δ(C–H) wagging mode of this species couples to both the tangential and the normal component of the incident p-polarized light, which results in absorption and emission bands at 1374 cm−1 and 1388 cm−1. IRRAS spectra measured on surfaces prepared to be either reduced, stoichiometric, or to contain surplus O adatoms, were found to be very similar. By comparisons with computed spectra, it is proposed that in our experiments, formate binds as a minority species to an in-plane Ti5c atom and a hydroxyl, rather than to O vacancy sites, the latter to a large extent being healed even at our UHV conditions. Excellent agreement between calculated and experimental IRRAS spectra is obtained. The results emphasize the importance of protonation and reactive surface hydroxyls – even under UHV conditions – as reactive sites in e.g., catalytic applications.

The Journal of Chemical Physics 140, 034705 (2014)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4855176

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