Issue 41, 2021

Interfacial acidity on the strontium titanate surface: a scaling paradigm and the role of the hydrogen bond

Abstract

A fundamental understanding of acidity at an interface, as mediated by structure and molecule–surface interactions, is essential to elucidate the mechanisms of a range of chemical transformations. While the strength of an acid in homogeneous gas and solution phases is conceptually well understood, acid–base chemistry at heterogeneous interfaces is notoriously more complicated. Using density functional theory and nonlinear vibrational spectroscopy, we present a method to determine the interfacial Brønsted–Lowry acidity of aliphatic alcohols adsorbed on the (100) surface of the model perovskite, strontium titanate. While shorter and less branched alkanols are known to be less acidic in the gas phase and more acidic in solution, here we show that shorter alcohols are less acidic whereas less substituted alkanols are more acidic at the gas–oxide interface. Hydrogen bonding plays a critical role in defining acidity, whereas structure–acidity relationships are dominated by van der Waals interactions between the alcohol and the surface.

Graphical abstract: Interfacial acidity on the strontium titanate surface: a scaling paradigm and the role of the hydrogen bond

Associated articles

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Paper
Submitted
04 Aug 2021
Accepted
16 Sep 2021
First published
16 Sep 2021

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2021,23, 23478-23485

Interfacial acidity on the strontium titanate surface: a scaling paradigm and the role of the hydrogen bond

R. C. Chapleski, A. U. Chowdhury, K. R. Mason, R. L. Sacci, B. Doughty and S. Roy, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2021, 23, 23478 DOI: 10.1039/D1CP03587H

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