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Aluminum oxide is an acidic compound that can react with water. This reaction produces a salt and hydrogen gas. It is used in several chemical applications. For example, it is used as a refractory material and an adsorbent. The formula for aluminium oxide is NaAlO2 to Na3Al(OH)6, depending on the temperature.
To understand the interaction between aluminum oxide and water, we use the ATR-FTIR. We use this technique to determine the ionic bonds and hydrogen bonds in the interface.
When water molecules come into contact with the oxide layer of aluminium, they immediately replace the hydrogen bonds. By replacing the hydrogen bonds, the water molecules form an ionic bond with the surface hydroxyl group.
As a result, the methoxy group is split off. Water molecules then hydrolyze the methoxy group and form methanol.
We also used APXPS to evaluate the ionic and hydrogen bonds of the metal oxide and polymer. These bonds can be detected in PAA/aluminum oxide systems. In addition, we used ToF-SIMS to investigate the chemical interactions in the hybrid interface.
At low water vapour pressures, the O 1 s spectra show peaks that correspond to the ionic and hydrogen bonds of the surface species. However, the spectral peak intensities increase with water vapour pressure.
As expected, the adsorption mechanism is based on the model system of carboxylic acid. Aluminium ions fill two-thirds of the octahedral interstices. They occupy the same sites as the hydroxyl groups of the adsorbent.