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Ibrahim Garba Wawata

Leading speaker for catalysis conference 2017 - Ibrahim Garba Wawata

Title: Synthesis and Characterization of Mo Oxides thin film on Alumina Single Crystal (α-0001)

Ibrahim Garba Wawata

Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria


I am from Zuru town in Kebbi State. I was born on 31st March, 1978 in Abeokuta, Ogun State Nigeria.  I had BSc and MSc Degrees in Applied Chemistry from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto in 2001 and 2009 respectively. I also had a PhD degree in Chemistry in the field of Heterogeneous Catalysis from Cardiff University in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Michael Bowker. I taught Chemistry/Mathematics in Government Secondary School Aliero in 2004, and currently an academic staff with Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Kebbi State University of Science and Technology Aliero Kebbi State, Nigeria.    


Catalysts surface remain a crucial arena in catalysis, where the interplay between reactants molecules in the presence of desired active sites results in selective products. This guides the understanding of catalytic active sites and reaction mechanism of most industrial process. However, industrial heterogeneous based catalysts are difficulty to characterize after post reaction using modern spectroscopic techniques, due to their shapes, abrasion (mixing of catalysts surface with bulk) during sample preparation, surface saturation with moisture and contamination (impurities). These obstacles, has attracts attention of scientists in the field of Catalysis, Surface Science and Reaction Engineering, leading to the emergence of model catalysis. In this study, Mo oxide thin film model catalysts was synthesize on single crystal Alumina (α Al2O3-0001) via low cost wet chemical deposition method, using Ammonium heptamolybdates salt as precursor in aqueous – organic phase. These catalysts were characterized using Light microscopy, Atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X – ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X – Ray diffraction (XRD) analysis.    The MoO3 films revealing inhomogeneous crystalline MoO3 islands with varying sizes and shapes at different coverage, depending on concentration of precursors as well as thickness of films. However, AFM analysis reveals the films consisting of large crystalline island of thickness between 2 – 10 μ, and small particles of thickness between 60 – 250 nm at low coverage. In addition, Raman spectroscopic studies indicates formation of crystalline polymeric MoO3 species at high coverage, with presence of both dioxo (O=)2 MoO2 and polymeric MoO3 species at low coverage. XPS analysis of the films indicates high oxidation state of +6 and +3 for Mo 3d and Al 2p respectively for these films. Moreover, the XRD reveal phases attributed to Al2O3 0001 and Mo oxides. These model catalysts will found application in Operando and in-situ monitoring of selective oxidation reactions to ascertain the participation of transient oxygen species during selective oxidation catalysts on Mo oxides surfaces.  

 Audience Take away:

•    Wet chemical and cost effective method for fabrication of Mo Oxides based thin film on Al2O3 (0001) single crystal.
•    The Synthesize films can be used as Model Catalyst for Selective Oxidation Study. 
•    The Model Catalyst can be characterized using both bulk and surface techniques. 
•    This will contribute to the new frontier of model catalysis; aim at understanding actives sites and reaction mechanism during in-situ or Operando selective oxidation reactions.