Highly Dispersed SiOx/Al2O3 Catalysts Illuminate the Reactivity of Isolated Silanol Sites

Aidan R. Mouat, Cassandra George, Takeshi Kobayashi, Marek Pruski, Richard P. Van Duyne, Tobin J. Marks, Peter C. Stair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The reaction of γ-alumina with tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) vapor at low temperatures selectively yields monomeric SiOx species on the alumina surface. These isolated (-AlO)3Si(OH) sites are characterized by PXRD, XPS, DRIFTS of adsorbed NH3, CO, and pyridine, and 29Si and 27Al DNP-enhanced solid-state NMR spectroscopy. The formation of isolated sites suggests that TEOS reacts preferentially at strong Lewis acid sites on the γ-Al2O3 surface, functionalizing the surface with "mild" Brønsted acid sites. For liquid-phase catalytic cyclohexanol dehydration, these SiOx sites exhibit up to 3.5-fold higher specific activity than the parent alumina with identical selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13346-13351
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015


  • alcohol dehydration
  • atomic layer deposition
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • silica-alumina
  • solid acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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