Structure and Stability of Pristine and Carboxylate-Covered Anatase TiO2(001) in Aqueous Environment

Gongyao Zeng, Bo Wen, Annabella Selloni

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4 Scopus citations


The interactions of carboxylic acids and water with TiO2 surfaces are important in applications ranging from solar cells to biomedical devices. Here we focus on the aqueous interface with the minority (001) surface of anatase TiO2 (A-001) and the behavior of adsorbed formic and acetic acid monolayers at this interface. We investigated the structure and stability of the pristine reconstructed and formic/acetic acid covered A-001 surfaces in contact with water using density functional theory (DFT) calculations and ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations. The (1 × 4) reconstruction of the pristine surface is found to be stable in aqueous environment, within the time scale of our simulation. Carboxylic acids adsorb in deprotonated bidentate (BD) form on A-001, with the dissociated proton transferred to a surface oxygen to form a bridging hydroxyl. Of the two possible configurations, BD bridging and BD straddling, of the adsorbed species, the latter is found to rapidly transform to a monodentate structure during our simulations. Further investigation of mixed acetate-formate monolayers on A-001 in water indicates that also BD bridging species can become unstable at the boundaries between formate and acetate-covered regions, transforming to a monodentate form that does not prevent water adsorption on the TiO2 surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15910-15917
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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