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Water Dissociative Adsorption on α-Al2O3(112̅0) Is Controlled by Surface Site Undercoordination, Density, and Topology

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons183358

Yue,  Yanhua
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons21722

Kirsch,  Harald
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons37877

Campen,  R. Kramer
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Heiden, S., Yue, Y., Kirsch, H., Wirth, J., Saalfrank, P., & Campen, R. K. (2018). Water Dissociative Adsorption on α-Al2O3(112̅0) Is Controlled by Surface Site Undercoordination, Density, and Topology. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b10410.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-EDC9-3
Abstract
α-Al2O3 surfaces are common in a wide variety of applications and useful models of more complicated, environmentally abundant, alumino-silicate surfaces. While decades of work have clarified that all properties of these surfaces depend sensitively on the crystal face and the presence of even small amounts of water, quantitative insight into this dependence has proven challenging. Overcoming this challenge requires systematic study of the mechanism by which water interacts with various α-Al2O3 surfaces. Such insight is most easily gained for the interaction of small amounts of water with surfaces in ultra high vacuum. In this study, we continue our combined theoretical and experimental approach to this problem, previously applied to water interaction with the α-Al2O3 (0001) and (11̅02) surfaces, now to water interaction with the third most stable surface, that is, the (112̅0). Because we characterize all three surfaces using similar tools, it is straightforward to conclude that the (112̅0) is most reactive with water. The most important factor explaining its increased reactivity is that the high density of undercoordinated surface Al atoms on the (112̅0) surface allows the bidentate adsorption of OH fragments originating from dissociatively adsorbed water, while only monodentate adsorption is possible on the (0001) and (11̅02) surfaces: the reactivity of α-Al2O3 surfaces with water depends strongly, and nonlinearly, on the density of undercoordinated surface Al atoms.