What is it about?

Titanium dioxide nanomaterials are very important for technological applications but the structure of TiO2 facets is still unknown at the molecular level. Here we obtain this key information by elucidating the behaviour and reactivity of carbon monoxide and hydrogen peroxide on different types of TiO2 nanoparticles.

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Why is it important?

We showed that TiO2 anatase nanoparticles with truncated bipyramidal shape can be usefully employed as a model system for the investigation of the IR spectra of adsorbed carbon monoxide. This allows for an unambiguous assignment of the bands of CO in the much more difficult case of the widespread titania catalyst TiO2-P25, which is in form of nanopowders. Additionally, for the first time we uncovered the role of thermal and chemical disorder in determining the stretching frequency of adsorbed probe molecules.


This work led to a deeper knowledge of the interactions between molecules and titania nanopowders at room-temperature, real-lab conditions. This represents a significant advance for the understanding of molecular adsorption on the complex surfaces of heterogeneous catalysts and photocatalysts. The synergy among high resolution transmission electron microscopy, IR spectroscopy and modeling allowed to correlate CO stretching frequency to anatase surface type and revealed key aspects of the reactivity of TiO2 P25, one of the most adopted titania photocatalysts.

Gloria Tabacchi
university of insubria

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This page is a summary of: Shape-controlled TiO2nanoparticles and TiO2P25 interacting with CO and H2O2molecular probes: a synergic approach for surface structure recognition and physico-chemical understanding, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, January 2013, Royal Society of Chemistry, DOI: 10.1039/c2cp42381b.
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