The technology that allows full control of the catalytic property of nanocatalysts using oxide formation on nanocatalysts has been developed by KAIST researchers. The breakthrough opens up the possibility of the development of a new kind of catalysts that maximizes catalytic property and minimizes waste.
*nanocatalyst is a material that catalyzes gas reactions on its surface. It is composed of a high surface area oxide scaffold with nano-sized metal particles dispersed.
The team was led by Professor Park Jeong Young of the KAIST EEWS Graduate School and consists of Kamran Qadir Ph.D. candidate (1st Author), Professor Joo Sang Hoon of UNIST, Professor Moon Bong Jin of Hanyang University, and Professor Gabor Somorajai of UC Berkeley. Support for the research was provided from Ministry of Education Science and Technology, National Research Foundation, and Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The results were published as the online edition of Nano Letters: “Intrinsic Relation between Catalytic Activity of CO Oxidation on Ru Nanoparticles and Ru Oxides Uncovered with Ambient Pressure XPS”.
Catalysts are included in above 80% of all the products used in everyday life and are therefore included in most aspects of our lives.
The focus on nanocatalysts is based on finding solutions to increasing the efficiency for application to energy production and for solving environmental issues.
Most nanocatalysts are composed of nanoparticles and oxides where the nanoparticles increase the surface area of the catalyst to increase its activity.
The efficiency of a nanocatalyst is affected by the surface oxide of the nanoparticles. However the proving of this assumption remained difficult to do as it required in-situ measurement of the oxide state of the nanoparticles in the specific environment. Thus far, the experiments were conducted in a vacuum and therefore did not reflect the actual behavior in real life. The recently developed X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy allows for measurement of the oxidization state at standard atmospheric pressure.
Professor Park’s research team successfully measured the oxidization state of the nanoparticle using the atmospheric pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy in the specified environment.
They confirmed the effect the oxidization state on the catalytic effect of the nanoparticles and additionally found that a thin layer of oxide can increase the catalytic effect and the effectiveness of the nanoparticle can controlled by the oxidation state.
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