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Role of the Three-Phase Boundary of the Platinum–Support Interface in Catalysis: A Model Catalyst Kinetic Study

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journal contribution
posted on 22.07.2016, 00:00 authored by Evangelos I. Papaioannou, Christoph Bachmann, Jonas J. Neumeier, Daniel Frankel, Herbert Over, Juergen Janek, Ian S. Metcalfe
A series of microstructured, supported platinum (Pt) catalyst films (supported on single-crystal yttria-stabilized zirconia) and an appropriate Pt catalyst reference system (supported on single-crystal alumina) were fabricated using pulsed laser deposition and ion-beam etching. The thin films exhibit area-specific lengths of the three-phase boundary (length of three-phase boundary between the Pt, support, and gas phase divided by the superficial area of the sample) that vary over 4 orders of magnitude from 4.5 × 102 to 4.9 × 106 m m–2, equivalent to structural length scales of 0.2 μm to approximately 9000 μm. The catalyst films have been characterized using X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, high-resolution scanning electron microscopy, and catalytic activity tests employing the carbon monoxide oxidation reaction. When Pt is supported on yttria-stabilized zirconia, the reaction rate clearly depends upon the area-specific length of the three-phase boundary, l(tpb). A similar relationship is not observed when Pt is supported on alumina. We suggest that the presence of the three-phase boundary provides an extra channel of oxygen supply to the Pt through diffusion in or on the yttria-stabilized zirconia support coupled with surface diffusion across the Pt.