Stability investigation of a high number density Pt1/Fe2O3 single-atom catalyst under different gas environments by HAADF-STEM

Sibin Duan, Rongming Wang, Jingyue Liu

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44 Scopus citations


Catalysis by supported single metal atoms has demonstrated tremendous potential for practical applications due to their unique catalytic properties. Unless they are strongly anchored to the support surfaces, supported single atoms, however, are thermodynamically unstable, which poses a major obstacle for broad applications of single-atom catalysts (SACs). In order to develop strategies to improve the stability of SACs, we need to understand the intrinsic nature of the sintering processes of supported single metal atoms, especially under various gas environments that are relevant to important catalytic reactions. We report on the synthesis of high number density Pt1/Fe2O3 SACs using a facial strong adsorption method and the study of the mobility of these supported Pt single atoms at 250 °C under various gas environments that are relevant to CO oxidation, water-gas shift, and hydrogenation reactions. Under the oxidative gas environment, Fe2O3 supported Pt single atoms are stable even at high temperatures. The presence of either CO or H2 molecules in the gas environment, however, facilitates the movement of the Pt atoms. The strong interaction between CO and Pt weakens the binding between the Pt atoms and the support, facilitating the movement of the Pt single atoms. The dissociation of H2 molecules on the Pt atoms and their subsequent interaction with the oxygen species of the support surfaces dislodge the surface oxygen anchored Pt atoms, resulting in the formation of Pt clusters. The addition of H2O molecules to the CO or H2 significantly accelerates the sintering of the Fe2O3 supported Pt single atoms. An anchoring-site determined sintering mechanism is further proposed, which is related to the metal-support interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204002
Issue number20
StatePublished - Mar 22 2018


  • catalyst stability
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • metalsupport interaction
  • single-atom catalyst
  • sintering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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