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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(26): 14721-14729, 2020 Jun 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32554500

RESUMO

Supported metal catalysts are extensively used in industrial and environmental applications. To improve their performance, it is crucial to identify the most active sites. This identification is, however, made challenging by the presence of a large number of potential surface structures that complicate such an assignment. Often, the active site is formed by an ensemble of atoms, thus introducing further complications in its identification. Being able to produce uniform structures and identify the ones that are responsible for the catalyst performance is a crucial goal. In this work, we utilize a combination of uniform Pd/Pt nanocrystal catalysts and theory to reveal the catalytic active-site ensemble in highly active propene combustion materials. Using colloidal chemistry to exquisitely control nanoparticle size, we find that intrinsic rates for propene combustion in the presence of water increase monotonically with particle size on Pt-rich catalysts, suggesting that the reaction is structure dependent. We also reveal that water has a near-zero or mildly positive reaction rate order over Pd/Pt catalysts. Theory insights allow us to determine that the interaction of water with extended terraces present in large particles leads to the formation of step sites on metallic surfaces. These specific step-edge sites are responsible for the efficient combustion of propene at low temperature. This work reveals an elusive geometric ensemble, thus clearly identifying the active site in alkene combustion catalysts. These insights demonstrate how the combination of uniform catalysts and theory can provide a much deeper understanding of active-site geometry for many applications.

2.
Nat Nanotechnol ; 15(5): 346-347, 2020 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32231269
3.
Soft Matter ; 16(9): 2256-2265, 2020 Mar 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32031561

RESUMO

Single particle tracking (SPT) of PEG grafted nanoparticles (NPs) was used to examine the gelation of tetra poly(ethylene glycol) (TPEG) succinimidyl glutarate (TPEG-SG) and amine (TPEG-A) terminated 4-armed stars. As concentration was decreased from 40 to 20 mg mL-1, the onset of network formation, tgel, determined from rheometry increased from less than 2 to 44 minutes. NP mobility increased as polymer concentration decreased in the sol state, but remained diffusive at times past the tgel determined from rheometry. Once in the gel state, NP mobility decreased, became sub-diffusive, and eventually localized in all concentrations. The NP displacement distributions were investigated to gain insight into the nanoscale environment. In these relatively homogeneous gels, the onset of sub-diffusivity was marked by a rapid increase in dynamic heterogeneity followed by a decrease consistent with a homogeneous network. We propose a gelation mechanism in which clusters initially form a heterogeneous structure which fills in to form a fully gelled relatively homogenous network. This work aims to examine the kinetics of TPEG gelation and the homogeneity of these novel gels on the nanometer scale, which will aid in the implementation of these gels in biomedical or filtration applications.

4.
J Chem Phys ; 151(15): 154703, 2019 Oct 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31640349

RESUMO

Pd- and Pt-based catalysts are highly studied materials due to their widespread use in emissions control catalysis. However, claims continue to vary regarding the active phase and oxidation state of the metals. Different conclusions have likely been reached due to the heterogeneous nature of such materials containing various metal nanoparticle sizes and compositions, which may each possess unique redox features. In this work, using uniform nanocrystal catalysts, we study the effect of particle size and alloying on redox properties of Pd-based catalysts and show their contribution to methane combustion activity using operando quick extended x-ray absorption fine structure measurements. Results demonstrate that for all studied Pd sizes (3 nm-16 nm), Pd oxidation directly precedes CH4 combustion to CO2, suggesting Pd oxidation as a prerequisite step to methane combustion, and an oxidation pretreatment shows equal or better catalysis than a reduction pretreatment. Results are then extended to uniform alloyed PtxPd1-x nanoparticles, where oxidative pretreatments are shown to enhance low-temperature combustion. In these uniform alloys, we observe a composition-dependent effect with Pt-rich alloys showing the maximum difference between oxidative and reductive pretreatments. In Pt-rich alloys, we initially observe that the presence of Pt maintains Pd in a lower-activity reduced state. However, with time on stream, PdO eventually segregates under oxidizing combustion conditions, leading to a slowly increasing activity. Overall, across particle sizes and alloy compositions, we relate increased catalytic activity to Pd oxidation, thus shedding light on previous contrasting results related to the methane combustion activity of these catalysts.

5.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 58(48): 17451-17457, 2019 Nov 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31545533

RESUMO

Catalytic CO2 reduction to fuels and chemicals is a major pursuit in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. One approach utilizes the reverse water-gas shift reaction, followed by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, and iron is a well-known candidate for this process. Some attempts have been made to modify and improve its reactivity, but resulted in limited success. Now, using ruthenium-iron oxide colloidal heterodimers, close contact between the two phases promotes the reduction of iron oxide via a proximal hydrogen spillover effect, leading to the formation of ruthenium-iron core-shell structures active for the reaction at significantly lower temperatures than in bare iron catalysts. Furthermore, by engineering the iron oxide shell thickness, a fourfold increase in hydrocarbon yield is achieved compared to the heterodimers. This work shows how rational design of colloidal heterostructures can result in materials with significantly improved catalytic performance in CO2 conversion processes.

7.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 11(33): 30154-30162, 2019 Aug 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31353888

RESUMO

Here, we propose a simple approach for the design of highly porous multicomponent heterostructures by infiltration of block-co-polymer templates with inorganic precursors in swelling solvents followed by gas-phase sequential infiltration synthesis and thermal annealing. This approach can prepare conformal coatings, free-standing membranes, and powders consisting of uniformly sized metal or metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) well dispersed in a porous oxide matrix. We employed this new, versatile synthetic concept to synthesize catalytically active heterostructures of uniformly dispersed ∼4.3 nm PdO nanoparticles accessible through three-dimensional pore networks of the alumina support. Importantly, such materials reveal high resistance against sintering at 800 °C, even at relatively high loadings of NPs (∼10 wt %). At the same time, such heterostructures enable high mass transport due to highly interconnected nature of the pores. The surface of synthesized nanoparticles in the porous matrix is highly accessible, which enables their good catalytic performance in methane and carbon monoxide oxidation. In addition, we demonstrate that this approach can be utilized to synthesize heterostructures consisting of different types of NPs on a highly porous support. Our results show that swelling-based infiltration provides a promising route toward the robust and scalable synthesis of multicomponent structures.

8.
Nature ; 570(7762): 504-508, 2019 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31117118

RESUMO

The electrochemical synthesis of ammonia from nitrogen under mild conditions using renewable electricity is an attractive alternative1-4 to the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process, which dominates industrial ammonia production. However, there are considerable scientific and technical challenges5,6 facing the electrochemical alternative, and most experimental studies reported so far have achieved only low selectivities and conversions. The amount of ammonia produced is usually so small that it cannot be firmly attributed to electrochemical nitrogen fixation7-9 rather than contamination from ammonia that is either present in air, human breath or ion-conducting membranes9, or generated from labile nitrogen-containing compounds (for example, nitrates, amines, nitrites and nitrogen oxides) that are typically present in the nitrogen gas stream10, in the atmosphere or even in the catalyst itself. Although these sources of experimental artefacts are beginning to be recognized and managed11,12, concerted efforts to develop effective electrochemical nitrogen reduction processes would benefit from benchmarking protocols for the reaction and from a standardized set of control experiments designed to identify and then eliminate or quantify the sources of contamination. Here we propose a rigorous procedure using 15N2 that enables us to reliably detect and quantify the electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia. We demonstrate experimentally the importance of various sources of contamination, and show how to remove labile nitrogen-containing compounds from the nitrogen gas as well as how to perform quantitative isotope measurements with cycling of 15N2 gas to reduce both contamination and the cost of isotope measurements. Following this protocol, we find that no ammonia is produced when using the most promising pure-metal catalysts for this reaction in aqueous media, and we successfully confirm and quantify ammonia synthesis using lithium electrodeposition in tetrahydrofuran13. The use of this rigorous protocol should help to prevent false positives from appearing in the literature, thus enabling the field to focus on viable pathways towards the practical electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to ammonia.

9.
Langmuir ; 35(13): 4460-4470, 2019 Apr 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30836748

RESUMO

Depositing a morphologically uniform monolayer film of graphene oxide (GO) single-layer sheets is an important step in the processing of many composites and devices. Conventional Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) deposition is often considered to give the highest degree of morphology control, but film microstructures still vary widely between GO samples. The main challenge is in the sensitive self-assembly of GO samples with different sheet sizes and degrees of oxidation. To overcome this drawback, here, we identify a general method that relies on robust assembly between GO and a cationic surfactant (cationic surfactant-assisted LB). We systematically compared conventional LB and cationic surfactant-assisted LB for three common GO samples of widely different sheet sizes and degrees of oxidation. Although conventional LB may occasionally provide satisfactory film morphology, cationic surfactant-assisted LB is general and allows deposition of films with tunable and uniform morphologies-ranging from close-packed to overlapping single layers-from all three types of GO samples investigated. Because cationic surfactant-assisted LB is robust and general, we expect this method to broaden and facilitate the use of GO in many applications where precise control over film morphology is crucial.

10.
Nano Lett ; 19(1): 520-529, 2019 01 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30501196

RESUMO

Properties of mono- and bimetallic metal nanoparticles (NPs) may depend strongly on their compositional, structural (or geometrical) attributes, and their atomic dynamics, all of which can be efficiently described by a partial radial distribution function (PRDF) of metal atoms. For NPs that are several nanometers in size, finite size effects may play a role in determining crystalline order, interatomic distances, and particle shape. Bimetallic NPs may also have different compositional distributions than bulk materials. These factors all render the determination of PRDFs challenging. Here extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy, molecular dynamics simulations, and supervised machine learning (artificial neural-network) method are combined to extract PRDFs directly from experimental data. By applying this method to several systems of Pt and PdAu NPs, we demonstrate the finite size effects on the nearest neighbor distributions, bond dynamics, and alloying motifs in mono- and bimetallic particles and establish the generality of this approach.

11.
J Am Chem Soc ; 140(42): 13736-13745, 2018 Oct 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30252458

RESUMO

CO2 reduction to higher value products is a promising way to produce fuels and key chemical building blocks while reducing CO2 emissions. The reaction at atmospheric pressure mainly yields CH4 via methanation and CO via the reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) reaction. Describing catalyst features that control the selectivity of these two pathways is important to determine the formation of specific products. At the same time, identification of morphological changes occurring to catalysts under reaction conditions can be crucial to tune their catalytic performance. In this contribution we investigate the dependency of selectivity for CO2 reduction on the size of Ru nanoparticles (NPs) and on support. We find that even at rather low temperatures (210 °C), oxidative pretreatment induces redispersion of Ru NPs supported on CeO2 and leads to a complete switch in the performance of this material from a well-known selective methanation catalyst to an active and selective RWGS catalyst. By utilizing in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy, we demonstrate that the low-temperature redispersion process occurs via decomposition of the metal oxide phase with size-dependent kinetics, producing stable single-site RuO x/CeO2 species strongly bound to the CeO2 support that are remarkably selective for CO production. These results show that reaction selectivity can be heavily dependent on catalyst structure and that structural changes of the catalyst can occur even at low temperatures and can go unseen in materials with less defined structures.

12.
J Am Chem Soc ; 140(40): 12930-12939, 2018 10 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30220200

RESUMO

Selective oxidations are crucial for the creation of valuable chemical building blocks but often require expensive and unstable stoichiometric oxidants such as hydroperoxides and peracids. To date, many catalysts that contain a single type of active site have not been able to attain the desired level of selectivity for partially oxidized products over total combustion. However, catalysts containing multiple types of active sites have proven to be successful for selective reactions. One category of such catalysts is bimetallic alloys, in which catalytic activity and selectivity can be tuned by modifying the surface composition. Traditional catalyst synthesis methods using impregnation struggle to create catalysts with sufficient control over surface chemistry to accurately tune the ensemble size of the desired active sites. Here we describe the synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals of dilute alloys of palladium and gold. We show that when supported on titania (TiO2), tuning the composition of the Pd/Au nanocrystal surface provides a synergistic effect in the selective oxidation of 2-propanol to acetone in the presence of H2 and O2. In particular, we show that certain Pd/Au surface ratios exhibit activity and selectivity far superior to Pd or Au individually. Through precise structural characterization we demonstrate that isolated atoms of Pd exist in the most active catalysts. The synergy between isolated Pd atoms and Au allows for the formation of reactive oxidizing species, likely hydroperoxide groups, responsible for selective oxidation while limiting oxygen dissociation and, thus, complete combustion. This work opens the way to more efficient utilization of scarce noble metals and new options for catalyzed selective oxidations.

13.
Langmuir ; 34(33): 9683-9691, 2018 08 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30025460

RESUMO

Langmuir-Blodgett deposition is a popular route to produce thin films of graphene oxide for applications such as transparent conductors and biosensors. Unfortunately, film morphologies vary from sample to sample, often with undesirable characteristics such as folded sheets and patchwise depositions. In conventional Langmuir-Blodgett deposition of graphene oxide, alcohol (typically methanol) is used to spread the graphene oxide sheets onto an air-water interface before deposition onto substrates. Here we show that methanol gives rise to Marangoni flow, which fundamentally limits control over Langmuir-Blodgett depositions of graphene oxide. We directly identified the presence of Marangoni flow by using photography, and we evaluated depositions with atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The disruptive effect of Marangoni flow was demonstrated by comparing conventional Langmuir-Blodgett depositions to depositions where Marangoni flow was suppressed by a surfactant. Because methanol is the standard spreading solvent for conventional Langmuir-Blodgett deposition of graphene oxide, Marangoni flow is a general problem and may partly explain the wide variety of undesirable film morphologies reported in the literature.

14.
Nano Lett ; 18(6): 4053-4057, 2018 06 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29812947

RESUMO

Compared to monometallic nanocrystals (NCs), bimetallic ones often exhibit superior properties due to their wide tunability in structure and composition. A detailed understanding of their synthesis at the atomic scale provides crucial knowledge for their rational design. Here, exploring the Pt-Sn bimetallic system as an example, we study in detail the synthesis of PtSn NCs using in situ synchrotron X-ray scattering. We show that when Pt(II) and Sn(IV) precursors are used, in contrast to a typical simultaneous reduction mechanism, the PtSn NCs are formed through an initial reduction of Pt(II) to form Pt NCs, followed by the chemical transformation from Pt to PtSn. The kinetics derived from the in situ measurements shows fast diffusion of Sn into the Pt lattice accompanied by reordering of these atoms into intermetallic PtSn structure within 300 s at the reaction temperature (∼280 °C). This crucial mechanistic understanding enables the synthesis of well-defined PtSn NCs with controlled structure and composition via a seed-mediated approach. This type of in situ characterization can be extended to other multicomponent nanostructures to advance their rational synthesis for practical applications.

15.
Nature ; 550(7674): 142, 2017 09 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28953881

RESUMO

This corrects the article DOI: 10.1038/nature23308.

16.
Nature ; 548(7666): 197-201, 2017 08 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28759888

RESUMO

Crystallization of colloidal nanocrystals into superlattices represents a practical bottom-up process with which to create ordered metamaterials with emergent functionalities. With precise control over the size, shape and composition of individual nanocrystals, various single- and multi-component nanocrystal superlattices have been produced, the lattice structures and chemical compositions of which can be accurately engineered. Nanocrystal superlattices are typically prepared by carefully controlling the assembly process through solvent evaporation or destabilization or through DNA-guided crystallization. Slow solvent evaporation or cooling of nanocrystal solutions (over hours or days) is the key element for successful crystallization processes. Here we report the rapid growth (seconds) of micrometre-sized, face-centred-cubic, three-dimensional nanocrystal superlattices during colloidal synthesis at high temperatures (more than 230 degrees Celsius). Using in situ small-angle X-ray scattering, we observe continuous growth of individual nanocrystals within the lattices, which results in simultaneous lattice expansion and fine nanocrystal size control due to the superlattice templates. Thermodynamic models demonstrate that balanced attractive and repulsive interparticle interactions dictated by the ligand coverage on nanocrystal surfaces and nanocrystal core size are responsible for the crystallization process. The interparticle interactions can also be controlled to form different superlattice structures, such as hexagonal close-packed lattices. The rational assembly of various nanocrystal systems into novel materials is thus facilitated for both fundamental research and for practical applications in the fields of magnetics, electronics and catalysis.


Assuntos
Cristalização , Nanopartículas/química , Temperatura , Ácidos/química , DNA/química , Ligantes , Magnetismo , Paládio/química , Espalhamento a Baixo Ângulo , Termodinâmica , Difração de Raios X
17.
J Am Chem Soc ; 139(34): 11989-11997, 2017 08 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28800226

RESUMO

Promoters enhance the performance of catalytic active phases by increasing rates, stability, and/or selectivity. The process of identifying promoters is in most cases empirical and relies on testing a broad range of catalysts prepared with the random deposition of active and promoter phases, typically with no fine control over their localization. This issue is particularly relevant in supported bimetallic systems, where two metals are codeposited onto high-surface area materials. We here report the use of colloidal bimetallic nanocrystals to produce catalysts where the active and promoter phases are colocalized to a fine extent. This strategy enables a systematic approach to study the promotional effects of several transition metals on palladium catalysts for methane oxidation. In order to achieve these goals, we demonstrate a single synthetic protocol to obtain uniform palladium-based bimetallic nanocrystals (PdM, M = V, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Sn, and potentially extendable to other metal combinations) with a wide variety of compositions and sizes based on high-temperature thermal decomposition of readily available precursors. Once the nanocrystals are supported onto oxide materials, thermal treatments in air cause segregation of the base metal oxide phase in close proximity to the Pd phase. We demonstrate that some metals (Fe, Co, and Sn) inhibit the sintering of the active Pd metal phase, while others (Ni and Zn) increase its intrinsic activity compared to a monometallic Pd catalyst. This procedure can be generalized to systematically investigate the promotional effects of metal and metal oxide phases for a variety of active metal-promoter combinations and catalytic reactions.

18.
Nano Lett ; 17(3): 1387-1394, 2017 03 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28146634

RESUMO

We demonstrate the fabrication of hierarchical materials by controlling the structure of highly ordered binary nanocrystal superlattices (BNSLs) on multiple length scales. Combinations of magnetic, plasmonic, semiconducting, and insulating colloidal nanocrystal (NC) building blocks are self-assembled into BNSL membranes via the liquid-interfacial assembly technique. Free-standing BNSL membranes are transferred onto topographically structured poly(dimethylsiloxane) molds via the Langmuir-Schaefer technique and then deposited in patterns onto substrates via transfer printing. BNSLs with different structural motifs are successfully patterned into various meso- and microstructures such as lines, circles, and even three-dimensional grids across large-area substrates. A combination of electron microscopy and grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) measurements confirm the ordering of NC building blocks in meso- and micropatterned BNSLs. This technique demonstrates structural diversity in the design of hierarchical materials by assembling BNSLs from NC building blocks of different composition and size by patterning BNSLs into various size and shape superstructures of interest for a broad range of applications.

19.
Nano Lett ; 17(3): 1839-1845, 2017 03 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28166635

RESUMO

The field of plasmonics has attracted considerable attention in recent years because of potential applications in various fields such as nanophotonics, photovoltaics, energy conversion, catalysis, and therapeutics. It is becoming increasing clear that intrinsic high losses associated with plasmons can be utilized to create new device concepts to harvest the generated heat. It is therefore important to design cavities, which can harvest optical excitations efficiently to generate heat. We report a highly engineered nanowire cavity, which utilizes a high dielectric silicon core with a thin plasmonic film (Au) to create an effective metallic cavity to strongly confine light, which when coupled with localized surface plasmons in the nanoparticles of the thin metal film produces exceptionally high temperatures upon laser irradiation. Raman spectroscopy of the silicon core enables precise measurements of the cavity temperature, which can reach values as high as 1000 K. The same Si-Au cavity with enhanced plasmonic activity when coupled with TiO2 nanorods increases the hydrogen production rate by ∼40% compared to similar Au-TiO2 system without Si core, in ethanol photoreforming reactions. These highly engineered thermoplasmonic devices, which integrate three different cavity concepts (high refractive index core, metallo-dielectric cavity, and localized surface plasmons) along with the ease of fabrication demonstrate a possible pathway for designing optimized plasmonic devices with applications in energy conversion and catalysis.

20.
Nat Commun ; 7: 13549, 2016 12 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27941752

RESUMO

Considering the depletion of fossil-fuel reserves and their negative environmental impact, new energy schemes must point towards alternative ecological processes. Efficient hydrogen evolution from water is one promising route towards a renewable energy economy and sustainable development. Here we show a tridimensional electrocatalytic interface, featuring a hierarchical, co-axial arrangement of a palladium/titanium dioxide layer on functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The resulting morphology leads to a merging of the conductive nanocarbon core with the active inorganic phase. A mechanistic synergy is envisioned by a cascade of catalytic events promoting water dissociation, hydride formation and hydrogen evolution. The nanohybrid exhibits a performance exceeding that of state-of-the-art electrocatalysts (turnover frequency of 15000 H2 per hour at 50 mV overpotential). The Tafel slope of ∼130 mV per decade points to a rate-determining step comprised of water dissociation and formation of hydride. Comparative activities of the isolated components or their physical mixtures demonstrate that the good performance evolves from the synergistic hierarchical structure.

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