Interactions of water and short-chain alcohols with CoFe2O4(001) surfaces at low coverages

Rushiti, A. and Falk, T. and Muhler, M. and Hättig, C.

Volume: 24 Pages: 23195-23208
DOI: 10.1039/d2cp02480b
Published: 2022

Iron and cobalt-based oxides crystallizing in the spinel structure are efficient and affordable catalysts for the oxidation of organics, yet, the detailed understanding of their surface structure and reactivity is limited. To fill this gap, we have investigated the (001) surfaces of cobalt ferrite, CoFe2O4, with the A- and B-layer terminations using density functional theory (DFT/PBE0) and an embedded cluster model. We have considered the five-fold coordinated Co2+/3+ (Oh), two-fold coordinated Fe2+ (Td), and an oxygen vacancy, as active sites for the adsorption of water and short-chain alcohols: methanol, ethanol, and 2-propanol, in the low coverage regime. The adsorbates dissociate upon adsorption on the Fe sites whereas the adsorption is mainly molecular on Co. At oxygen vacancies, the adsorbates always dissociate, fill the vacancy and form (partially) hydroxylated surfaces. The computed vibrational spectra for the most stable configurations are compared with results from diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy. © 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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