Strong Interactions in Supported-Metal Catalysts

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Science  13 Mar 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4487, pp. 1121-1125
DOI: 10.1126/science.211.4487.1121


Many commercially important catalysts consist of small metal particles dispersed on inorganic oxide surfaces. Although in most cases there is no significant interaction between the metal and the support, strong bonding can be demonstrated in a recently discovered class of supported-metal catalysts. These cases typically involve group VIII metals dispersed on transition metal oxides whose surfaces can be reduced to form cations with lower valences. Spectroscopic measurements indicate that an electron is transferred from the cation (such as Ti3+ or Nb4+) to the metal particle. This, in turn, leads to profound changes in the catalytic and chemisorption properties and the morphology of the metal particles.