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The Protonation State of Small Carboxylic Acids at the Water Surface from Photoelectron Spectroscopy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Surface and Interface Science.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Molecular and condensed matter physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Molecular and condensed matter physics.
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2011 (English)In: Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics - PCCP, ISSN 1463-9076, E-ISSN 1463-9084, Vol. 13, no 26, 12261-12267 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We report highly surface sensitive core-level photoelectron spectra of small carboxylic acids (formic, acetic and butyric acid) and their respective carboxylate conjugate base forms (formate, acetate and butyrate) in aqueous solution. The relative surface affinity of the carboxylic acids and carboxylates is obtained by monitoring their respective C1s signal intensities from a solution in which their bulk concentrations are equal. All the acids are found to be enriched at the surface relative to the corresponding carboxylates. By monitoring the PE signals of acetic acid and acetate as a function of total concentration, we find that the protonation of acetic acid is nearly complete in the interface layer. This is in agreement with literature surface tension data, from which it is inferred that the acids are enriched at the surface while (sodium) formate and acetate, but not butyrate, are depleted. For butyric acid, we conclude that the carboxylate form co-exist with the acid in the interface layer. The free energy cost of replacing an adsorbed butyric acid molecule with a butyrate ion at 1.0 M concentration is estimated to be >2.2 kBT. By comparing concentration dependent surface excess data with the evolution of the corresponding photoemission signals it is furthermore possible to draw conclusions about how the distribution of molecules that contribute to the excess is altered with bulk concentration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 13, no 26, 12261-12267 p.
National Category
Condensed Matter Physics
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-151430DOI: 10.1039/C1CP20245FISI: 000291885300017PubMedID: 21633751OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-151430DiVA: diva2:409925
Available from: 2011-04-11 Created: 2011-04-11 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Aqueous Solutions as seen through an Electron Spectrometer: Surface Structure, Hydration Motifs and Ultrafast Charge Delocalization Dynamics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aqueous Solutions as seen through an Electron Spectrometer: Surface Structure, Hydration Motifs and Ultrafast Charge Delocalization Dynamics
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In spite of their high abundance and importance, aqueous systems are enigmatic on the microscopic scale. In order to obtain information about their geometrical and electronic structure, simple aqueous solutions have been studied experimentally by photo- and Auger electron spectroscopy using the novel liquid micro-jet technique in conjunction with synchrotron radiation. The thesis is thematically divided into three parts.

In the first part we utilize the surface sensitivity of photoelectron spectroscopy to probe the distributions of solutes near the water surface. In agreement with recent theoretical predictions we find that large polarizable anions, such as I- and ClO4-, display enhanced surface propensities compared to smaller rigid ions. Surface effects arising from ion-ion interactions at higher electrolyte concentrations and as function of pH are investigated. Studies of linear mono-carboxylic acids and benzoic acid show that the neutral molecular forms of such weak acids are better stabilized at the water surface than their respective conjugate base forms.

The second part examines what type of information core-electron spectra can yield about the chemical state and hydration structure of small organic molecules in water. We demonstrate that the method is sensitive to the protonation state of titratable functional groups and that core-level lineshapes are dependent on local water hydration configurations. Using a combination of photoelectron and X-ray absorption spectroscopy we also show that the electronic re-arrangement upon hydrolysis of aldehydes yields characteristic fingerprints in core-level spectra.

In the last part of this thesis we study ultrafast charge delocalization dynamics in aqueous solutions using resonant and off-resonant Auger spectroscopy. Intermolecular Coulombic decay (ICD) is found to occur in a number of core-excited solutions where excess energy is transferred between the solvent and the solute. The rate of ultrafast electron delocalization between hydrogen bonded water molecules upon oxygen 1s resonant core-excitation is found to decrease upon solvation of inorganic ions.

The presented work is illustrative of how core-level photoelectron spectroscopy can be valuable in the study of fundamental phenomena in aqueous solutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 118 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 828
Keyword
Water, Aqueous solutions, Ions, Molecular Hydration, Electron dynamics, Atmospheric Chemistry, Hydrolysis, Acid-Base Chemistry, Interatomic Coulombic Decay, ICD, Liquid Micro-Jet, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, XPS, Auger Electron Spectroscopy, AES, MAX-lab, BESSY
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Physics with spec. in Atomic, Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-151435 (URN)978-91-554-8083-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-06-01, Polhemssalen, Ångström Laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-05-11 Created: 2011-04-11 Last updated: 2011-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Ottosson, NiklasSöderström, JohanPokapanich, WandaredKaufmann, SusannaSvensson, SvanteBjörnehom, Olle

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