5 years ago

Controlling the Surface Reactivity of Titania via Electronic Tuning of Self-Assembled Monolayers

Controlling the Surface Reactivity of Titania via Electronic Tuning of Self-Assembled Monolayers
Lucas D. Ellis, J. Will Medlin, Charles B. Musgrave, Ryan M. Trottier, Daniel K. Schwartz
Reactivity of molecular catalysts can be controlled by organic ligands that regulate the steric and electronic properties of catalyst sites. This level of control has generally been unavailable for heterogeneous catalysts. We show that self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on titania with tunable electronic properties provided fine control over surface reactivity. Controlling the identity of substituents on benzylphosphonic acid SAMs modulated the near-surface electrostatics, enabling regulation of the dehydration activity of 1-propanol and 1-butanol over a wide range, with activities and selectivities of the optimal catalyst far exceeding those of uncoated TiO2. The dipole moment of the adsorbed phosphonate was strongly correlated to the dehydration activity; kinetic measurements and computational modeling indicated that the interfacial electric field altered the transition-state structure and energy. Coating catalysts with SAMs having controllable charge distributions may provide a general approach to heterogeneous catalyst design analogous to the variation of ligands in molecular catalysts.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.7b02789

DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.7b02789

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