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Switch in photocatalytic reaction selectivity: The effect of oxygen partial pressure on carbon-carbon bond dissociation over hydroxylated TiO2(1 1 0) surfaces

Harrison, G., Katsiev, K., Alsalik, Y., Thornton, G., Idriss, H.
Journal of catalysis 2018 v.363 pp. 117-127
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, acetaldehyde, chemical bonding, cleavage (chemistry), dehydrogenation, desorption, dissociation, ethanol, formates, free radicals, gases, hydroxylation, mass spectrometry, moieties, oxidation, oxygen, photocatalysis, reaction mechanisms, scanning tunneling microscopy, selectivity (chemistry), titanium dioxide
Photocatalytic oxidation of ethanol over rutile TiO2(1 1 0) in the presence of O2 have been studied with scanning tunneling microscopy and on-line mass spectrometry to elucidate the reaction mechanisms. The O2 partial pressure has a direct impact on CC bond cleavage, resulting in a shift of selectivity in gas phase products from acetaldehyde (dehydrogenation) to methyl radicals (CC bond dissociation) with increasing pressure. This differs from the behavior of anatase TiO2(1 0 1) single crystal, where at all investigated pressures negligible CC bond dissociation occurs. The prevalence of the methyl radical species at high oxygen pressures is correlated with an increase in the surface population of an adsorbed species bound to Ti5c after the reaction, which are identified as formate moieties. Parallel XPS C1s, Ti2p and O1s further confirmed the assignment of surface population, by STM, to ethoxides at 300 K, in dark conditions (C1s at 286.7 and 285.4 eV attributed to CH2O and CH3 groups respectively). After photoreaction, a large fraction of the surface was covered by formates (XPS C1 at 289.7 eV). This also correlated with the STM assignment where species spaced by 6 Å along the [0 0 1] direction and with a height of ca. 1.1 Å attributed to formates. Moreover the profile for CH3 radical desorption in the gas phase as a function O2 partial pressures correlated with the increasing surface population of formates. Analysis of the rate of methyl radical formation reveals fast and slow regimes, with photoreaction cross-sections between 10−17 cm2 and 10−19 cm2. The parallel channel of acetaldehyde production has a non-varying cross-section of ca. 2 × 10−19 cm2. A schematic description of the two different reaction channels (dehydrogenation and CC bond dissociation) is given and discussed.