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Journal Article

Surface composition of AgPd single-atom alloy catalyst in an oxidative environment


Schlögl,  Robert
Inorganic Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion;

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Hartwig, C., Schweinar, K., Nicholls, R., Beeg, S., Schlögl, R., & Greiner, M. (2021). Surface composition of AgPd single-atom alloy catalyst in an oxidative environment. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 154(17): 174708. doi:10.1063/5.0045999.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-8A1C-E
Single-atom alloys (SAAs) have recently gained considerable attention in the field of heterogeneous catalysis research due to their potential for novel catalytic properties. While SAAs are often examined in reactions of reductive atmospheres, such as hydrogenation reactions, in the present work, we change the focus to AgPd SAAs in oxidative environments since Pd has the highest catalytic activity of all metals for oxidative reactions. Here, we examine how the chemical reactivity of AgPd SAAs differs from its constituent Pd in an oxidative atmosphere. For this purpose, electronic structure changes in an Ag0.98Pd0.02 SAA foil in 1 mbar of O2 were studied by <i>in situ</i> x-ray photoemission spectroscopy and compared with the electronic structure of a Pd foil under the same conditions. When heated in an oxidative atmosphere, Pd in Ag0.98Pd0.02 partly oxidizes and forms a metastable PdOx surface oxide. By using a peak area modeling procedure, we conclude that PdOx on Ag0.98Pd0.02 is present as thin, possibly monolayer thick, PdOx islands on the surface. In comparison to the PdO formed on the Pd foil, the PdOx formed on AgPd is substantially less thermodynamically stable, decomposing at temperatures about 270 °C lower than the native oxide on Pd. Such behavior is an interesting property of oxides formed on dilute alloys, which could be potentially utilized in catalytic oxidative reactions such as methane oxidation.