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Interface-Confined Ferrous Centers for Catalytic Oxidation

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Science  28 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5982, pp. 1141-1144
DOI: 10.1126/science.1188267

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Abstract

Coordinatively unsaturated ferrous (CUF) sites confined in nanosized matrices are active centers in a wide range of enzyme and homogeneous catalytic reactions. Preparation of the analogous active sites at supported catalysts is of great importance in heterogeneous catalysis but remains a challenge. On the basis of surface science measurements and density functional calculations, we show that the interface confinement effect can be used to stabilize the CUF sites by taking advantage of strong adhesion between ferrous oxides and metal substrates. The interface-confined CUF sites together with the metal supports are active for dioxygen activation, producing reactive dissociated oxygen atoms. We show that the structural ensemble was highly efficient for carbon monoxide oxidation at low temperature under typical operating conditions of a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell.

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