Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2006, (Advance Article)
DOI: 10.1039/b512113b


Selective photo-deposition of Cu onto the surface of monodisperse oleic acid capped TiO2 nanorods probed by FT-IR CO-adsorption studies

Todor Hikova, Marie-Katrin Schroetera, Lamma Khodeirb, Abdelkrim Chemseddinec, Martin Muhlerb and Roland A. Fischer*a
aDepartment II of Inorganic Chemistry - Organometallics & Materials, Ruhr-University Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, D-44780, Bochum, Germany. E-mail:; Fax: 0049 234 3214174; Tel: 0049 234 3224174
bDepartment of Technical Chemistry, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, D-44780, Bochum, Germany. E-mail:; Fax: 0049 234 3214115; Tel: 0049 234 3228754
cSolar Energy, SE 4, Hahn-Meitner Institut Berlin GmbH, Glienicker Str. 100, D-14109, Berlin, Germany. E-mail:; Fax: 0049 30 80622434; Tel: 0049 30 80622240

Received 25th August 2005, Accepted 26th October 2005

First published on the web 28th November 2005

A novel, non-aqueous, organometallic route to nanocomposite Cu@TiO2 materials is presented. TiO2 nanorods stabilized with oleic acid (OLA) were used as support for the photo-assisted deposition of Cu using the organometallic Cu(II) precursor [Cu(OCH(CH3)CH2N(CH3)2)2] (1). The copper precursor 1 penetrates through the shell of OLA and is photo reduced to deposit Cu0 directly at the surface of the TiO2 rods. The obtained Cu decorated nanorods were still soluble in nonpolar organic solvents without change of the morphology of nanorods. The Cu@TiO2 colloid was characterized by means of UV-VIS, XRD, AAS, and HRTEM. FTIR CO adsorption studies provide evidence for Cu0 anchored at the titania surface by a characteristic absorption at 2084 cm–1. Comparative studies of Cu-deposition were performed using CuCl2 as simple Cu source which proved that the concept of organometallic disguise of the metal centre results in a higher reaction rate and the circumvention of non-selective reduction, parasitic side reactions and undesired agglomeration of the OLA stabilized titania nanorods.