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

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Science  16 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6147, pp. 771-773
DOI: 10.1126/science.1240148

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A Measure of Metal-Oxide Interfaces

The rate of a catalytic reaction can sometimes be enhanced by using a different metal oxide as the support for adsorbed metal nanoparticles. Such enhancement is often attributed to more active sites at the metal-oxide interface, but it can be difficult to quantify this effect. Cargnello et al. (p. 771, published online 18 July) synthesized monodisperse nanoparticles of nickel, platinum, and palladium and dispersed them on high-surface-area ceria or alumina supports. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy enabled a detailed analysis of interfacial site structure, which showed that the rate of CO oxidation on ceria was indeed enhanced greatly at interface sites.