Structure of rutile TiO2 (1 1 0) in water and 1 molal Rb+ at pH 12: Inter-relationship among surface charge, interfacial hydration structure, and substrate structural displacements

Zhan Zhang*, Paul Fenter, Neil C. Sturchio, Michael J. Bedzyk, Michael L. Machesky, David J. Wesolowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The rutile (1 1 0)-aqueous solution interface structure was measured in deionized water (DIW) and 1 molal (m) RbCl + RbOH solution (pH 12) at 25 °C with the X-ray crystal truncation rod method. The rutile surface in both solutions consists of a stoichiometric (1 × 1) surface unit mesh with the surface terminated by bridging oxygen (BO) and terminal oxygen (TO) sites, with a mixture of water molecules and hydroxyl groups (OH-) occupying the TO sites. An additional hydration layer is observed above the TO site, with three distinct water adsorption sites each having well-defined vertical and lateral locations. Rb+ specifically adsorbs at the tetradentate site between the TO and BO sites, replacing one of the adsorbed water molecules at the interface. There is no further ordered water structure observed above the hydration layer. Structural displacements of atoms at the oxide surface are sensitive to the solution composition. Ti atom displacements from their bulk lattice positions, as large as 0.05 Å at the rutile (1 1 0)-DIW interface, decay in magnitude into the crystal with significant relaxations that are observable down to the fourth Ti-layer below the surface. A systematic outward shift was observed for Ti atom locations below the BO rows, while a systematic inward displacement was found for Ti atoms below the TO rows. The Ti displacements were mostly reduced in contact with the RbCl solution at pH 12, with no statistically significant relaxations in the fourth layer Ti atoms. The distance between the surface 5-fold Ti atoms and the oxygen atoms of the TO site is 2.13 ± 0.03 Å in DIW and 2.05 ± 0.03 Å in the Rb+ solution, suggesting molecular adsorption of water at the TO site to the rutile (1 1 0) surface in DIW, while at pH 12, adsorption at the TO site is primarily in the form of an adsorbed hydroxyl group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1129-1143
Number of pages15
JournalSurface Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2007


  • Adsorption
  • Electrical double layer
  • Oxide-water interface
  • Single crystal surface
  • Surface structure
  • Titanium oxide (Rutile)
  • X-ray reflection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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