Chemistry Department Seminar

""Tracking atoms and charges in metal catalysts under reaction conditions"

Presented by Anatoly I. Frenkel, Physics Dept, Yeshiva University, NY

Tuesday, September 8, 2015, 10:00 am — Room 300, 3rd Floor, Chemistry Bldg. 555

In the last decade, complexity of catalytic nanoparticles attracted much attention as a major factor in catalytic processes. Atomic and electronic structure and dynamics of particles, as well as their interactions with support and adsorbates, are important descriptors of their catalytic activity. The main challenge is how to investigate these factors in a working catalyst, at high temperature and pressure, and how to do so without breaking the correlations between components of this complex system. I will give a brief overview of new methods developed recently to enable such combined studies under realistic reaction conditions. Our approach is to single out electronic charge of metal atoms in a cluster as an "observable" quantity and develop methods to "observe" it experimentally under realistic reaction conditions, and model theoretically. In this framework, complex interactions between metal and adsorbates, metal and support, and support and adsorbates can be all accounted for in terms of their effects on the cluster charge. I will review recent results utilizing this approach for a prototypical catalyst, 1nm Pt nanoparticles supported on silica. Using high energy resolution methods of X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopies (HERFD and RIXS), as well as in situ IR spectroscopy (DRIFTS) and electron microscopy, aided with first-principles (DFT) modeling, we deduced that the structure of atoms and charges in the catalyst is strongly heterogeneous and that it changes dynamically with the change in temperature and pressure of adsorbates (H2 or CO).

Hosted by: Alex Harris

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