Surface modification of TiO2 nanoparticles with bidentate ligands studied by EPR spectroscopy

Tijana Rajh, David M. Tiede, Marion C. Thurnauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The surface of 50 Å TiO2 nanoparticle colloids was modified in order to improve the kinetic and redox characteristics of this semiconductor. The surface was derivatized with different bidentate ligands (thiolactic, β-mercaptopropionic, mercaptoacetic acids, and alanine) and was investigated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and IR spectroscopies. Infrared spectroscopy suggests that at pH 4 these compounds bind to Ti(IV) surface atoms through the carboxyl group. However, when a thiol group is in the a position with respect to the carboxyl group, surface Ti(IV) atoms become chelated with both the carboxyl and thiol groups resulting in five-membered ring formation. This results in the formation of a charge transfer complex with an optical absorption threshold at 520 nm. Illumination at 77 K of TiO2 colloids with surface chelated Ti(IV) atoms in the absence of electron scavengers leads to the formation of the carboxyl cation radical (trapped holes) and three distinct Ti(III) centers (trapped electrons) at 4.2 K. When the temperature is increased, the hole moves to the CH3 group, which is the farthest from the colloid surface. In the presence of electron accepting species (Pb2+, Cd2+) the signal for the trapped electron disappears at 250 K indicating electron transfer to the accepting species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-820
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Surface modification of TiO2 nanoparticles with bidentate ligands studied by EPR spectroscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this