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CO Oxidation on Gold-Supported Iron Oxides: New Insights into Strong Oxide–Metal Interactions

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journal contribution
posted on 23.07.2015, 00:00 authored by Liang Yu, Yun Liu, Fan Yang, Jaime Evans, José A. Rodriguez, Ping Liu
Very active FeOx–Au catalysts for CO oxidation are obtained after depositing nanoparticles of FeO, Fe3O4, and Fe2O3 on a Au(111) substrate. Neither FeO nor Fe2O3 is stable under the reaction conditions. Under an environment of CO/O2, they undergo oxidation (FeO) or reduction (Fe2O3) to yield nanoparticles of Fe3O4 that are not formed in a bulk phase. Using a combined experimental and theoretical approach, we show a strong oxide–metal interaction (SOMI) between Fe3O4 nanostructures and Au(111), which gives the oxide special properties, allows the formation of an active phase, and provides a unique interface to facilitate a catalytic reaction. Our work highlights the important role that the SOMI can play in enhancing the catalytic performance of the oxide component in metal–oxide catalysts.