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J Phys Chem A. 2011 Mar 24;115(11):2139-47. doi: 10.1021/jp108958w. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Kinetic and mechanistic investigations of multielectron transfer reactions induced by stored electrons in TiO2 nanoparticles: a stopped flow study.

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Institut für Technische Chemie, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstrasse 3, D-30167 Hannover, Germany.


The kinetics and the mechanism of various multielectron transfer reactions initiated by stored electrons in TiO(2) nanoparticles have been investigated employing the stopped flow technique. Moreover, the optical properties of the stored electrons in the TiO(2) nanoparticles have been studied in detail following the UV (A) photolysis of deaerated aqueous suspensions of TiO(2) nanoparticles in the presence of methanol. The reduction of common electron acceptors that are often present in photocatalytic systems such as O(2), H(2)O(2), and NO(3)(-) has been investigated. The experimental results clearly show that the stored electrons reduce O(2) and H(2)O(2) to water by multielectron transfer processes. Moreover, NO(3)(-) is reduced via the transfer of eight electrons evincing the formation of ammonia. On the other hand, the reduction of toxic metal ions, such as Cu(II), has been studied mixing their respective anoxic aqueous solutions with those containing the electrons stored in the TiO(2) particles. A two-electron transfer is found to occur, indicating the reduction of the copper metal ion into its non toxic metallic form. Other metal ions, such as Zn(II) and Mn(II), could not be reduced by TiO(2) electrons, which is readily explained on the bases of their respective redox potentials. The underlying reaction mechanisms are discussed in detail.

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