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Disordered Adsorbed Water Layers on TiO2 Nanoparticles under Subsaturated Humidity Conditions at 235 K

Journal article
Authors F. Orlando
L. Artiglia
H. Y. Yang
Xiangrui Kong
K. Roy
A. Waldner
S. Z. Chen
T. Bartels-Rausch
M. Ammann
Published in Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume 10
Issue 23
Pages 7433-7438
ISSN 1948-7185
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 7433-7438
Language en
Keywords x-ray-absorption, photoelectron-spectroscopy, surfaces, adsorption, xps, photocatalysis, mechanisms, nucleation, particles, air, Chemistry, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Materials Science, Physics
Subject categories Chemical Sciences, Material physics with surface physics


The interaction of water with TiO2 is of substantial scientific and technological interest as it determines the activity of TiO2 in photocatalytic and environmental applications in nanoparticle suspensions in water, in complex appliances, or in pure form interacting with water vapor. The influence of TiO2 nanoparticles on the hydrogen bonding structure of water molecules is an important factor that controls hydration of other species, reactions, or nucleation processes. We use a combination of ambient-pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and electron yield near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy at the oxygen K-edge to investigate the hydrogen bonding structure of adsorbed water on titania nanoparticles in equilibrium with nearly saturated water vapor at 235 K. The results clearly show that the net NEXAFS spectrum of adsorbed water resembles that of liquid, disordered water at 235 K, a temperature at which both homogeneous and heterogeneous freezing of bulk water is anticipated.

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