Atomic Scale Characterization of Fluxional Cation Behavior on Nanoparticle Surfaces: Probing Oxygen Vacancy Creation/Annihilation at Surface Sites

Ethan L. Lawrence, Barnaby D.A. Levin, Tara Boland, Shery L.Y. Chang, Peter A. Crozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Oxygen vacancy creation and annihilation are key processes in nonstoichiometric oxides such as CeO2. The oxygen vacancy creation and annihilation rates on an oxide's surface partly govern its ability to exchange oxygen with the ambient environment, which is critical for a number of applications including energy technologies, environmental pollutant remediation, and chemical synthesis. Experimental methods to probe and correlate local oxygen vacancy reaction rates with atomic-level structural heterogeneities would provide significant information for the rational design and control of surface functionality; however, such methods have been unavailable to date. Here, we characterize picoscale fluxional behavior in cations using time-resolved in situ aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy to locate atomic-level variations in oxygen vacancy creation and annihilation rates on oxide nanoparticle surfaces. Low coordination number sites such as steps and edges, as well as locally strained sites, exhibited the greatest number of cation displacements, implying enhanced surface oxygen vacancy activity at these sites. The approach has potential applications to a much wider class of materials and catalysis problems involving surface and interfacial transport functionalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2624-2634
Number of pages11
JournalACS nano
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 23 2021

Keywords

  • cation displacements
  • ceria
  • fluxional behavior
  • in situ
  • nanoparticle surfaces
  • oxygen vacancy
  • transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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