Structure sensitivity in the nonscalable regime explored via catalysed ethylene hydrogenation on supported platinum nanoclusters

Andrew S. Crampton, Marian D. Rötzer, Claron J. Ridge, Florian F. Schweinberger, Ueli Heiz, Bokwon Yoon, Uzi Landman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

The sensitivity, or insensitivity, of catalysed reactions to catalyst structure is a commonly employed fundamental concept. Here we report on the nature of nano-catalysed ethylene hydrogenation, investigated through experiments on size-selected Ptn (n=8-15) clusters soft-landed on magnesia and first-principles simulations, yielding benchmark information about the validity of structure sensitivity/insensitivity at the bottom of the catalyst size range. Both ethylene-hydrogenation-to-ethane and the parallel hydrogenation-dehydrogenation ethylidyne-producing route are considered, uncovering that at the <1nm size-scale the reaction exhibits characteristics consistent with structure sensitivity, in contrast to structure insensitivity found for larger particles. The onset of catalysed hydrogenation occurs for Ptn (n≥10) clusters at T>150 K, with maximum room temperature reactivity observed for Pt13. Structure insensitivity, inherent for specific cluster sizes, is induced in the more active Pt13 by a temperature increase up to 400 K leading to ethylidyne formation. Control of sub-nanometre particle size may be used for tuning catalysed hydrogenation activity and selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10389
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

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