Understanding thermochemical transformations of formic acid (FA) on metal oxide surfaces is important for many catalytical reactions. Here we study thermally induced reactions of FA on a single-crystalline and nanocrystalline anatase TiO2(101). We employ a combination of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), temperature-programmed desorption (TPD), infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS), diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS), and density functional theory (DFT) to follow the FA surface intermediates and reaction products above room temperature. We find that the primary reaction products desorbing at about 300, 480, and 515 K are molecular water, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde, respectively. Bidentate (BD) formate and bridging hydroxyl (HOb) are identified as central intermediates in the FA transformations. Bridging oxygen vacancies (VO) are also likely participants despite their low stability at the surface. Furthermore, the parallel studies on single crystals and faceted TiO2(101) nanoparticles reveal the spectroscopic commonalities of surface species and of the thermal conversion of molecular and deprotonated forms of FA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films