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Title: Dynamic structural disorder in supported nanoscale catalysts

We investigate the origin and physical effects of “dynamic structural disorder” (DSD) in supported nano-scale catalysts. DSD refers to the intrinsic fluctuating, inhomogeneous structure of such nano-scale systems. In contrast to bulk materials, nano-scale systems exhibit substantial fluctuations in structure, charge, temperature, and other quantities, as well as large surface effects. The DSD is driven largely by the stochastic librational motion of the center of mass and fluxional bonding at the nanoparticle surface due to thermal coupling with the substrate. Our approach for calculating and understanding DSD is based on a combination of real-time density functional theory/molecular dynamics simulations, transient coupled-oscillator models, and statistical mechanics. This approach treats thermal and dynamic effects over multiple time-scales, and includes bond-stretching and -bending vibrations, and transient tethering to the substrate at longer ps time-scales. Potential effects on the catalytic properties of these clusters are briefly explored. Model calculations of molecule-cluster interactions and molecular dissociation reaction paths are presented in which the reactant molecules are adsorbed on the surface of dynamically sampled clusters. This model suggests that DSD can affect both the prefactors and distribution of energy barriers in reaction rates, and thus can significantly affect catalytic activity at the nano-scale.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22253348
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 13; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; CATALYSTS; DENSITY FUNCTIONAL METHOD; DISSOCIATION; INTERACTIONS; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; NANOSTRUCTURES; OSCILLATORS; REACTION KINETICS; SIMULATION; STATISTICAL MECHANICS; STOCHASTIC PROCESSES; SUBSTRATES; SURFACES