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In situ observation of oscillatory redox dynamics of copper

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Antonietti,  Markus
Markus Antonietti, Kolloidchemie, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Willinger,  Marc Georg
Marc Willinger, Kolloidchemie, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Cao, J., Rinaldi, A., Plodinec, M., Huang, X., Willinger, E., Hammud, A., et al. (2020). In situ observation of oscillatory redox dynamics of copper. Nature Communications, 11(1): 3554. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-17346-7.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-C5FC-0
Abstract
How a catalyst behaves microscopically under reaction conditions, and what kinds of active sites transiently exist on its surface, is still very much a mystery to the scientific community. Here we present an in situ study on the red-ox behaviour of copper in the model reaction of hydrogen oxidation. Direct imaging combined with on-line mass spectroscopy shows that activity emerges near a phase boundary, where complex spatio-temporal dynamics are induced by the competing action of simultaneously present oxidizing and reducing agents. Using a combination of in situ imaging with in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and scanning photoemission microscopy, we reveal the relation between chemical and morphological dynamics and demonstrate that a static picture of active sites is insufficient to describe catalytic function of redox-active metal catalysts. The observed oscillatory redox dynamics provide a unique insight on phase-cooperation and a convenient and general mechanism for constant re-generation of transient active sites.