Surface binding of organophosphates on silica: Comparing experiment and theory

Decarlos E. Taylor, Keith Runge, Marshall G. Cory, Douglas S. Burns, Joseph L. Vasey, John D. Hearn, Kara Griffith, Michael V. Henley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A consistent embedding hierarchy is applied to the calculation of binding enthalpies for organophosphate molecules to a silica surface and compared to experiment. The interaction of four probe molecules, dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), diisopropyl methylphosphonate (DIMP), diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP), and sarin, with the silica surface is examined. Quantum chemical methods are employed to compute binding enthalpies and vibrational spectra for all interactions between probe molecules and silanol sites on the silica surface. Comparison with experimentally measured infrared shifts indicates that the theoretically modeled adsorption sites are similar to those found in experiment. The calculated binding enthalpies agree well with experiment for sarin, ΔHads,443K = -22.0 kcal/mol (calculated) vs -18.8 ± 5.5 kcal/mol (measured, 433 K < Texpt < 453 K), and DIMP, ΔHads,463K = -26.9 kcal/mol (calculated) vs -29.3 ± 0.9 kcal/mol (measured, 453 K < Texpt < 473 K). Agreement with experiment is less good for DMMP, ΔHads,463K = -19.7 kcal/mol (calculated) vs -26.1 ± 1.5 kcal/mol (measured, 453 K < T expt < 473 K), and DFP, ΔHads,423K = -20.4 kcal/mol (calculated) vs -27.5 ± 3.1 kcal/mol (measured, 413 K < Texpt < 433 K).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2699-2708
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 14 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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