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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2008, Article ID 964721, 9 pages
Research Article

Gas-Phase Photodegradation of Decane and Methanol on : Dynamic Surface Chemistry Characterized by Diffuse Reflectance FTIR

W. M. Keck Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Received 24 July 2007; Accepted 4 January 2008

Academic Editor: Russell Howe

Copyright © 2008 William Balcerski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) was used to study illuminated surfaces under both vacuum conditions, and in the presence of organic molecules (decane and methanol). In the presence of hole scavengers, electrons are trapped at Ti(III)–OH sites, and free electrons are generated. These free electrons are seen to decay by exposure either to oxygen or to heat; in the case of heating, reinjection of holes into the lattice by loss of sorbed hole scavenger leads to a decrease in Ti(III)–OH centers. Decane adsorption experiments lend support to the theory that removal of surficial hydrocarbon contaminants is responsible for superhydrophilic surfaces. Oxidation of decane led to a mixture of surface-bound organics, while oxidation of methanol leads to the formation of surface-bound formic acid.