Interactions of metal particles with oxide supports can radically enhance the performance of supported catalysts. At the microscopic level, the details of such metal–oxide interactions usually remain obscure. This study identifies two types of oxidative metal–oxide interaction on well-defined models of technologically important Pt–ceria catalysts: (1) electron transfer from the Pt nanoparticle to the support, and (2) oxygen transfer from ceria to Pt. The electron transfer is favourable on ceria supports, irrespective of their morphology. Remarkably, the oxygen transfer is shown to require the presence of nanostructured ceria in close contact with Pt and, thus, is inherently a nanoscale effect. Our findings enable us to detail the formation mechanism of the catalytically indispensable Pt–O species on ceria and to elucidate the extraordinary structure–activity dependence of ceria-based catalysts in general.
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The authors acknowledge financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft within the ERACHEM program (‘NanoFunC’ project) and within the Excellence Cluster ‘Engineering of Advanced Materials’. A.M. thanks Generalitat de Catalunya (GC) for a Beatriu de Pinós grant and F.I. acknowledges GC for the 2009 ICREA Academia Research Award. We are grateful for support by the Bulgarian National Science Fund (grants DO02-82 and DO02-115), Spanish MICINN (grants FIS2008-02238, CTQ2007-30547-E/BQU), GC (2009SGR1041 and XRQTC), Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, DAAD (PPP, Acciones Integradas Hispano-Alemanas), HPC-Europa2, European Union (COST D41) and Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic (LC06058 and LA08022) funding the Materials Science Beamline. Calculations were carried out on the MARENOSTRUM supercomputer of the Barcelona Supercomputer Center and at BG/P at the Bulgarian Supercomputer Center. We acknowledge cooperation with the Lehrstuhl für Festkörperphysik at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and the support of Dr. L. Hammer and Professor M.A. Schneider in scanning tunnelling microscopy measurements.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Vayssilov, G., Lykhach, Y., Migani, A. et al. Support nanostructure boosts oxygen transfer to catalytically active platinum nanoparticles. Nature Mater 10, 310–315 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat2976
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