Strong Isotopic Fractionation of Oxygen in TiO2Obtained by Surface-Enhanced Solid-State Diffusion

Heonjae Jeong, Edmund G. Seebauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Isotopically pure semiconductors have important applications for cooling electronic devices and quantum computing and sensing. Raw materials of sufficiently high isotopic purity are expensive and difficult to obtain; therefore, a post-synthesis method for removing isotopic impurities would be valuable. Through isotopic self-diffusion measurements of oxygen in rutile TiO2single crystals immersed in water, we demonstrate fractionation of 18O by a factor of 3 below natural abundance in a near-surface region up to 10 nm wide. The submerged surface injects O interstitials that displace lattice 18O deeper into the solid as a result of the statistics of interstitialcy-mediated diffusion combined with steep chemical gradients of O interstitials. Slightly acidic and slightly basic liquid solutions both enhance the fractionation and affect the details of isotopic profile shapes through several chemical and physical mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9841-9847
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 27 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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