Theoretical Study on the Lewis Acidity of the Pristine AlF3 and Cl-Doped α-AlF3 Surfaces
Becker, Christian and Braun, Thomas and Paulus, Beate – 2021
In the past two decades, metal fluorides have gained importance in the field of heterogenous catalysis of bond activation reaction, e.g., hydrofluorination. One of the most investigated metal fluorides is AlF3. Together with its chlorine-doped analogon aluminiumchlorofluoride (AlClxF3−x, x = 0.05–0.3; abbreviated ACF), it has attracted much attention due to its application in catalysis. Various surface models for α-AlF3 and their chlorinated analogues (as representatives of amorphous ACF) are investigated with respect to their Lewis acidity of the active centres. First-principle density functional theory (DFT) methods with dispersion correction are used to determine the adsorption structure and energy of the probe molecules CO and NH3. The corresponding vibrational frequency shift agrees well with the measured values. With this insight we predict the local structure of the active sites and can clarify the importance of secondary interactions to the local anionic surrounding of the catalytic site.