Insights from Theory on the Relationship between Surface Reactivity and Gold Atom Release
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CitationBaker, Thomas A., Efthimios Kaxiras, and Cynthia M. Friend. 2010. “Insights from Theory on the Relationship Between Surface Reactivity and Gold Atom Release.” Topics in Catalysis 53 (5-6) (April 2): 365–377. doi:10.1007/s11244-010-9446-3.
AbstractDensity functional theory, informed by experimental studies, is used to investigate the interplay of surface morphology, the adsorption site of reactants, the nature of the interaction between adsorbates and the surface, the potential energy landscape for adsorbates on the surface, adsorbate coverage, temperature, and the dynamic evolution of these factors during adsorption and reaction. We summarize our current understanding of Au atom release on the (111) surface and the corresponding effects on adsorption and reactivity. Gold was selected for these investigations because of the recent intense interest in the activity of gold nanoparticles for several important catalytic reactions. Fundamental experimental studies on Au single-crystal surfaces have established that atomic O is extremely active for oxidation of CO and olefins, that the local bonding of O is an important factor in determining the reactivity and selectivity for oxidation, and that Au atom release is induced by electronegative adsorbates, such as O, Cl, and S. These experimental results guided our theoretical studies. Density functional theory is an extremely useful tool since it evaluates the energetics associated with the incorporation of gold into the adsorbate layer, while providing fundamental physical insight into the underlying cause of gold incorporation. We use our results from static DFT calculations along with ab initio molecular dynamics simulations to understand the effect of surface morphology on the activity of gold for CO oxidation. Our investigation of Au atom release and incorporation induced by electronegative atoms clearly illustrates the importance of using experiments in combination with theory to establish the importance of and the underlying reasons for metal atom release and the affect on bonding and reactivity.
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