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1H MAS NMR (Magic-Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) Techniques for the Quantitative Determination of Hydrogen Types in Solid Catalysts and Supports

Volume 58, Number 6 (June 2004) Page 698-704

Kennedy, Gordon J.; Afeworki, Mobae; Calabro, David C.; Chase, Clarence E.; Smiley, Randolph J.


Distinct hydrogen species are present in important inorganic solids such as zeolites, silicoaluminophosphates (SAPOs), mesoporous materials, amorphous silicas, and aluminas. These H species include hydrogens associated with acidic sites such as Al(OH)Si, non-framework aluminum sites, silanols, and surface functionalities. Direct and quantitative methodology to identify, measure, and monitor these hydrogen species are key to monitoring catalyst activity, optimizing synthesis conditions, tracking post-synthesis structural modifications, and in the preparation of novel catalytic materials. Many workers have developed several techniques to address these issues, including1H MAS NMR (magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance).1H MAS NMR offers many potential advantages over other techniques, but care is needed in recognizing experimental limitations and developing sample handling and NMR methodology to obtain quantitatively reliable data. A simplified approach is described that permits vacuum dehydration of multiple samples simultaneously and directly in the MAS rotor without the need for epoxy, flame sealing, or extensive glovebox use. We have found that careful optimization of important NMR conditions, such as magnetic field homogeneity and magic angle setting are necessary to acquire quantitative, high-resolution spectra that accurately measure the concentrations of the different hydrogen species present. Details of this1H MAS NMR methodology with representative applications to zeolites, SAPOs, M41S, and silicas as a function of synthesis conditions and post-synthesis treatments (i.e., steaming, thermal dehydroxylation, and functionalization) are presented.