Room Temperature Water Splitting at the Surface of Magnetite.

Summary of "Room Temperature Water Splitting at the Surface of Magnetite."

An array of surface science measurements has revealed novel water adsorption behavior at the Fe(3)O(4)(001) surface. Following room temperature exposure to water, a low coverage of hydrogen atoms is observed, with no associated water hydroxyl group. Mild annealing of the hydrogenated surface leads to desorption of water via abstraction of surface oxygen atoms, leading to a reduction of the surface. These results point to an irreversible splitting of the water molecule. The observed phenomena are discussed in the context of recent DFT calculations ( Mulakaluri , N. ; Pentcheva , R. ; Scheffler , M. J. Phys. Chem. C 2010 , 114 , 11148 ), which show that the Jahn-Teller distorted surface isolates adsorbed H in a geometry that could kinetically hinder recombinative desorption. In contrast, the adsorption geometry facilitates interaction between water hydroxyl species, which are concluded to leave the surface following a reactive desorption process, possibly via the creation of O(2).


Institute of Applied Physics, Vienna University of Technology , Vienna, Austria.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of the American Chemical Society
ISSN: 1520-5126
Pages: 12650-12655


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