skip to main content


Title: Surface-structure sensitivity of CeO 2 nanocrystals in photocatalysis and enhancing the reactivity with nanogold

Structure–function correlations are a central theme in heterogeneous (photo)catalysis. In this research, using aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), the atomic surface structures of well-defined one-dimensional (1D) CeO 2 nanorods (NRs) and 3D nanocubes (NCs) are directly visualized at subangstrom resolution. CeO 2 NCs predominantly expose the {100} facet, with {110} and {111} as minor cutoff facets at the respective edges and corners. Notably, the outermost surface layer of the {100} facet is nearly O-terminated. Neither surface relaxations nor reconstructions on {100} are observed, indicating unusual polarity compensation, which is primarily mediated by near-surface oxygen vacancies. The surface of CeO 2 NRs is highly stepped, with the enclosed {110} facet exposing Ce cations and O anions on terraces. On the basis of STEM profile-view imaging and electronic structure analysis, the photoreactivity of CeO2 nanocrystals toward aqueous methyl orange degradation under UV is revealed to be surface-structure-sensitive, following the order: {110} >> {100}. The underlying surface-structure sensitivity can be attributed to the variation in low-coordinate surface cerium cations between {110} and {100} facets. To further enhance light absorption, Au nanoparticles (NPs) are deposited on CeO 2 NRs to form Au/CeO 2 plasmonic nanocomposites, which dramatically promotes the photoreactivity that is Aumore » particle size- and excitation light wavelength-dependent. The mechanisms responsible for the enhancement of photocatalytic activity are discussed, highlighting the crucial role of photoexcited charge carrier transfer.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing (China)
  2. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China)
  3. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2155-5435; R&D Project: CO009; KC0302010
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Catalysis
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2155-5435
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; surface structure; CeO2; aberration-corrected STEM; photocatalysis; surface plasmon resonance; nanogold
OSTI Identifier: