Trapping of Mobile Pt Species by PdO Nanoparticles under Oxidizing Conditions

Pt is an active catalyst for diesel exhaust catalysis but is known to sinter and form large particles under oxidizing conditions. Pd is added to improve the performance of the Pt catalysts. To investigate the role of Pd, we introduced metallic Pt nanoparticles via physical vapor deposition to a sample containing PdO nanoparticles. When the catalyst was aged in air, the Pt particles disappeared, and the Pt was captured by the PdO, forming bimetallic Pt–Pd nanoparticles. The formation of metallic Pt–Pd alloys under oxidizing conditions is indeed remarkable but is consistent with bulk thermodynamics. The results show that mobile Pt species are effectively trapped by PdO, representing a novel mechanism by which Ostwald ripening is slowed down. The results have implications for the development of sinter-resistant catalysts and help explain the improved performance and durability of Pt–Pd in automotive exhaust catalytic converters.