Control of Metal Nanocrystal Size Reveals Metal-Support Interface Role for Ceria Catalysts

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Science  18 Jul 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1240148

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Interactions between ceria (CeO2) and supported metals greatly enhance rates for a number of important reactions. However, direct relationships between structure and function in these catalysts have been difficult to extract because the samples studied were either heterogeneous or were model systems dissimilar to working catalysts. Here, we report rate measurements on samples in which the length of the ceria-metal interface is tailored by the use of monodisperse Ni, Pd, and Pt nanocrystals (NCs). We demonstrate unambiguously that CO oxidation in ceria-based catalysts is greatly enhanced at the ceria-metal interface sites for a range of group VIII metal catalysts, clarifying the pivotal role played by the support.

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