Chemistry Colloquium

"Catalysis by Atomic Sized Centers"

Presented by Dr. Horia Metiu, University of California, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 11:00 am — Hamilton Seminar Room, Bldg. 555

We perform density functional calculations to explore the properties of two new classes of catalysts, both consisting of atomic-size active centers. In one class the cation at the surface of an oxide is replaced with another cation which we call a dopant. By an appropriate choice of the dopant-oxide pair we can weaken the bond of the oxygen atoms at the surface of the oxide and make the system a better oxidant and a better oxidation catalyst. Other choices of dopant-oxide pairs will cause the dopant to adsorb oxygen and weaken the O-O bond to activate oxygen for oxidation reactions. A second class of catalysts with atomic-size active center consists of small oxide clusters supported on a different oxide (for example, a VO3 cluster supported on TiO2). Some of the oxygen atoms in the cluster end up bridging two different cations (for example, V-O-Ti) and if the two cations are well chosen, the bridging oxygen becomes active in oxidation reactions. We study the mechanism of methanol oxidation to formaldehyde by VO3 supported on TiO2 and plan to screen a large set of oxide clusters on an oxide for hydrocarbon activation.

Hosted by: Ping Liu

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