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Stable and metastable metal surfaces in heterogeneous catalysis

Abstract

Most supported metal catalysts are remarkably consistent in performance, although they are intrinsically unstable. Their success in catalysing ‘structure-sensitive’ reactions implies that the metal crystallites of catalysts reach relatively stable, quasi-equilibrium states under most reaction conditions. The variability found in some systems is attributable, at least in part, to the presence of metastable catalyst states.

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