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Compensation Effect Exhibited by Gold Bimetallic Nanoparticles during CO Oxidation

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journal contribution
posted on 21.09.2021, 07:44 by Joe Brindle, Michael M. Nigra
While CO oxidation catalyzed by gold nanoparticles has been practiced academically for several decades, there are still important discoveries to be made. One area of current interest is to pair Au with another alloying metal and observe the catalytic consequences of the presence of the other metal. In this work, TiO2-supported bimetallic Au nanoparticles are alloyed with Cu, Co, Ni, Pd, and Ru and used as catalysts for CO oxidation. Two synthetic methods for the alloys are presented: a strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) method and a sterically demanding ligand synthesis (SDLS) method which uses triphenylphosphine (TPP) as the ligand. The catalytic performance of the materials synthesized with the SEA and SDLS methods is compared in CO oxidation. The results indicate that the materials tested present an enthalpy–entropy compensation effect. Interestingly, both the enthalpy of activation, ΔH, and the entropy of activation, ΔS, generally decrease with particle size. AuCo and AuRu materials exhibit a decrease in the overall activity as compared to Au and the other Au alloys when synthesized via SEA. Au face-centered-cubic alloys AuCu, AuNi, and AuPd prepared via SEA show an improvement in activity compared to monometallic Au in our reaction conditions. In situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy presents two distinct regions for Au bimetallics where AuCo and AuRu show peak positions in the region of 2070–2050 cm–1, indicating a weaker interaction for AuCo and AuRu with CO when compared to that of the other alloys. For the SDLS method samples, the hypothesis is that TPP would enhance the CO oxidation rate by enhancing the charge transfer to the metallic surface. The results indicate that SDLS samples have lower CO oxidation rates and if any charge transfer occurs, it is masked by the lateral interactions of the CO π bonds and the phenyl groups of TPP.