Dimerization induced deprotonation of water on RuO2(110)

Rentao Mu, David C. Cantu, Xiao Lin, Vassiliki Alexandra Glezakou, Zhitao Wang, Igor Lyubinetsky, Roger Rousseau, Zdenek Dohnálek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


RuO2 has proven to be indispensable as a co-catalyst in numerous systems designed for photocatalytic water splitting. In this study, we have carried out a detailed mechanistic study of water behavior on the most stable RuO2 face, RuO2(110), by employing variable-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory calculations. We show that water monomers adsorb molecularly on Ru sites, become mobile above 238 K, diffuse along the Ru rows, and form water dimers. The onset for dimer diffusion is observed at ∼277 K, indicating a significantly higher diffusion barrier than that for monomers. More importantly, we find that water dimers deprotonate readily to form Ru-bound H3O2 and bridging OH species. The observed behavior is compared and contrasted with that observed for water on isostructural rutile TiO2(110).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3445-3450
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2014


  • adsorption
  • density functional theory
  • diffusion
  • scanning tunneling microscopy
  • water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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