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Unravelling site-specific photo-reactions of ethanol on rutile TiO2(110)

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Finding the active sites of catalysts and photo-catalysts is crucial for an improved fundamental understanding and the development of efficient catalytic systems. Here we have studied the photo-activated dehydrogenation of ethanol on reduced and oxidized rutile TiO 2 (110) in ultrahigh vacuum conditions. Utilizing scanning tunnelling microscopy, various spectroscopic techniques and theoretical calculations we found that the photo-reaction proceeds most efficiently when the reactants are adsorbed on regular Ti surface sites, whereas species that are strongly adsorbed at surface defects such as O vacancies and step edges show little reaction under reducing conditions. We propose that regular Ti surface sites are the most active sites in photo-reactions on TiO 2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21990
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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