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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 21, 2023
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  4. Abstract

    The detailed information on the surface structure and binding sites of oxide nanomaterials is crucial to understand the adsorption and catalytic processes and thus the key to develop better materials for related applications. However, experimental methods to reveal this information remain scarce. Here we show that17O solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy can be used to identify specific surface sites active for CO2adsorption on MgO nanosheets. Two 3-coordinated bare surface oxygen sites, resonating at 39 and 42 ppm, are observed, but only the latter is involved in CO2adsorption. Double resonance NMR and density functional theory (DFT) calculations results prove that the difference between the two species is the close proximity to H, and CO2does not bind to the oxygen ions with a shorter O···H distance of approx. 3.0 Å. Extensions of this approach to explore adsorption processes on other oxide materials can be readily envisaged.