In situ EPR spectroscopy at cryogenic temperatures has been used to observe and identify paramagnetic species produced when titania is irradiated in the presence of reactants used in the photocatalytic alkylation of maleimide with t-butyl carboxylic acid or phenoxyacetic acid. It is shown that maleimide acts as an acceptor of conduction band electrons. Valence band holes oxidise t-butyl carboxylic acid to the t-butyl radical and phenoxyacetic acid to the phenoxyacetic acid radical cation. In the presence of maleimide, the phenoxymethyl radical is formed from phenoxyacetic acid. The relevance of these observations to the mechanisms of titania photocatalyst-promoted alkylation of alkenes is discussed.
This work was supported by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Grant EP/I00372X/1. The EPR spectrometer was purchased under EPSRC Grant EP/F032560/1. We thank Andrew Mills for use of the spectroradiometric measurement system.
- EPR spectroscopy
- alkene alkylation