Spatially Confined Corner Defects Induce Chemical Functionality of TiO2 Nanorods


  • This work was supported by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences under contract W-31-109Eng-38. BMR and REC supported by U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Science. TEM analysis was carried out in the Electron Microscopy Collaborative Research Center (EMC) at Argonne National Laboratory. The submitted manuscript has been created by the University of Chicago as Operator of Argonne National Laboratory (“Argonne”) under Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government retains for itself, and others acting on its behalf, a paid-up, nonexclusive, irrevocable worldwide license in said article to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, by or on behalf of the Government. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


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The atomic structure of anisotropic titanium dioxide nanoparticles is characterized by HRTEM to identify coordination defects at the tip surfaces of the nanorods (see figure). At the tip regions of the nanoparticles, the titanium metal–metal atom spacings extend between the (001) planes and demonstrate site-specific chemical reactivity towards surface modifiers. The observed reactivity of the nanorod tip is reminiscent of selectivity found in organic and biological self-organizing systems.