Berruyer, P., et al., Three-Dimensional Structure Determination of Surface Sites. J Am Chem Soc, 2017. 139(2): p. 849-855.
The spatial arrangement of atoms is directly linked to chemical function. A fundamental challenge in surface chemistry and catalysis relates to the determination of three-dimensional structures with atomic-level precision. Here we determine the three-dimensional structure of an organometallic complex on an amorphous silica surface using solid-state NMR measurements, enabled through a dynamic nuclear polarization surface enhanced NMR spectroscopy approach that induces a 200-fold increase in the NMR sensitivity for the surface species. The result, in combination with EXAFS, is a detailed structure for the surface complex determined with a precision of 0.7 A. We observe a single well-defined conformation that is folded toward the surface in such a way as to include an interaction between the platinum metal center and the surface oxygen atoms.