Surface Hydroxyl Chemistry of Titania- and Alumina-Based Supports: Quantitative Titration and Temperature Dependence of Surface Brønsted Acid-Base Parameters

Tae Yong Yun, Bert D. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Surface hydroxyl groups on metal oxides play significant roles in catalyst synthesis and catalytic reactions. Despite the importance of surface hydroxyls in broader material applications, quantitative measurements of surface acid-base properties are not regularly reported. Here, we describe direct methods to quantify fundamental properties of surface hydroxyls on several titania- and alumina-based supports. Comparing commercially available anatase, rutile, P25, and P90 titania, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) indicated that the total surface hydroxyl density varied by a factor of 2, and each surface hydroxyl is associated with approximately one weakly adsorbed water molecule. Proton-exchange site densities, determined at 25 °C with slurry acid-base titrations, led to several conclusions: (i) the intrinsic acidity/basicity of surface hydroxyls were similar regardless of the titania source; (ii) differences in the surface isoelectric point (IEP) were primarily attributable to differences in the surface concentration of acid and base sites; (iii) rutile has a higher surface concentration of basic hydroxyls, leading to a higher IEP; and (iv) P25 and P90 titania have slightly higher surface concentrationsof acidic hydroxyls relative to anatase or rutile. Temperature effects on surface acid-base properties are rarely reported yet are significant: from 5 to 65 °C, IEP values change by roughly one pH unit. The IEP changes were associated with large changes to the intrinsic acid-base equilibrium constants over this temperature range, rather than changes in the composition or concentration of the surface sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6868-6876
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 8 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science

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