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J Phys Chem B. 2005 Feb 24;109(7):2793-800.

On the structure of vanadium oxide supported on aluminas: UV and visible raman spectroscopy, UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and temperature-programmed reduction studies.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Center for Catalysis and Surface Science and Institute of Environmental Catalysis, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.


Vanadia species on aluminas (delta- and gamma-Al2O3) with surface VOx density in the range 0.01-14.2 V/nm2 have been characterized by UV and visible Raman spectroscopy, UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-Vis DRS), and temperature-programmed reduction in hydrogen. It is shown that the alumina phase has little influence on the structure and reducibility of surface VOx species under either dehydrated or hydrated conditions. Three similar types of dispersed VOx species, i.e., monovanadates, polyvanadates, and V2O5, are identified on both aluminas under dehydrated conditions. Upon hydration, polymerized VOx species dominate on the surfaces of the two aluminas. The broad Raman band at around 910 cm(-1), observed on dehydrated V/delta-, gamma-Al2O3 at all V loadings (0.01-14.2 V/nm2), is assigned to the interface mode (V-O-Al) instead of the conventionally assigned V-O-V bond. The direct observation of the interface bond is of significance for the understanding of redox catalysis because this bond has been considered to be the key site in oxidation reactions catalyzed by supported vanadia. Two types of frequency shifts of the V=O stretching band (1013-1035 cm(-1)) have been observed in the Raman spectra of V/Al2O3: a shift as a function of surface VOx density and a shift as a function of excitation wavelength. The shift of the V=O band to higher wavenumbers with increasing surface VOx density is due to the change of VOx structure. The V=O stretching band in dispersed vanadia always appears at lower wavenumber in UV Raman spectra than in visible Raman spectra for the same V/Al2O3 sample. This shift is explained by selective resonance enhancement according to the UV-Vis DRS results. It implies that UV Raman has higher sensitivity to isolated and less polymerized VOx species while visible Raman is more sensitive to highly polymerized VOx species and crystalline V2O5. These results show that a multiwavelength excitation approach provides a more complete structural characterization of supported VOx catalysts.

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