Perras, F.A., et al., Characterizing Substrate-Surface Interactions on Alumina-Supported Metal Catalysts by Dynamic Nuclear Polarization-Enhanced Double-Resonance NMR Spectroscopy. J Am Chem Soc, 2017. 139(7): p. 2702-2709.
The characterization of nanometer-scale interactions between carbon-containing substrates and alumina surfaces is of paramount importance to industrial and academic catalysis applications, but it is also very challenging. Here, we demonstrate that dynamic nuclear polarization surface-enhanced NMR spectroscopy (DNP SENS) allows the unambiguous description of the coordination geometries and conformations of the substrates at the alumina surface through high-resolution measurements of 13C-27Al distances. We apply this new technique to elucidate the molecular-level geometry of 13C-enriched methionine and natural abundance poly(vinyl alcohol) adsorbed on gamma-Al2O3-supported Pd catalysts, and we support these results with element-specific X-ray absorption near-edge measurements. This work clearly demonstrates a surprising bimodal coordination of methionine at the Pd-Al2O3 interface.