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

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 Pt n (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 <1 nm 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 Pt n (n≥10) clusters at T>150 K, with maximum room temperature reactivity observed for Pt 13. Structure insensitivity, inherent for specific cluster sizes, is induced in the more active Pt 13 by a temperature increase up to 400 K leading to ethylidyne formation. As a result, control of sub-nanometre particle size may be used for tuning catalysed hydrogenation activity and selectivity.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Technische Univ. Munchen, Garching (Germany)
  2. Air Force Research Lab., Elgin, FL (United States); Technische Univ. Munchen, Garching (Germany)
  3. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (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; chemical sciences; catalysis; materials science; physical chemistry
OSTI Identifier: