Structure sensitivity of ceria-supported Au catalysts for CO oxidation

Ya Qiong Su (Corresponding author), Yan-Yang Qin, Tiantian Wu, De-Yin Wu

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Single-atom catalysis is at the center of the attention of the heterogeneous catalysis community. It remains a challenge to determine the thermodynamic stability of single atoms on an oxide support and compare their activity to that of small clusters and nanoparticles. We conducted density functional theory calculations to compare the stability of Au(CO) complexes on the CeO2(1 1 1) terrace and step-edge of CeO2(1 1 1) against CeO2( 11 1)-supported nanoparticles. The different single atom Au and Au cluster models were compared for CO oxidation at low temperature. Trapped as dopants substituting for Ce in the surface or in a ceria O vacancy, Au cannot catalyze CO oxidation. Single Au atoms at step-edges represent candidate active sites for low-temperature CO oxidation. The CO oxidation at the interface between Au nanoparticles and CeO2 can directly take place through a Mars-van Krevelen mechanism and account for a promising reactivity when the dislodgment of Au(CO) complex is hindered. The possibility of CO-induced dislodgement of a single Au atom depends critically on the topology of the Au-CeO2 interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-363
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 22103059). Y. Su acknowledges the ?Young Talent Support Plan? of Xi'an Jiaotong University and the Open Funds of State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces (Xiamen University No. 202018). Supercomputing facilities were provided by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and Hefei Advanced Computing Center.


  • CeO
  • CO oxidation
  • Density functional theory
  • Single-atom catalysis
  • Topology


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