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ACS Nano. 2015 Apr 28;9(4):3470-8. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b00271. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

Better Catalysts through Microscopy: Mesoscale M1/M2 Intergrowth in Molybdenum-Vanadium Based Complex Oxide Catalysts for Propane Ammoxidation.

Author information

1
†Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States.
2
‡School of Energy, Environment, Biological and Medical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0012, United States.
3
§Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States.
4
∥Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States.

Abstract

In recent decades, catalysis research has transformed from the predominantly empirical field to one where it is possible to control the catalytic properties via characterization and modification of the atomic-scale active centers. Many phenomena in catalysis, such as synergistic effect, however, transcend the atomic scale and also require the knowledge and control of the mesoscale structure of the specimen to harness. In this paper, we use our discovery of atomic-scale epitaxial interfaces in molybdenum-vanadium based complex oxide catalysts systems (i.e., Mo-V-M-O, M = Ta, Te, Sb, Nb, etc.) to achieve control of the mesoscale structure of this complex mixture of very different active phases. We can now achieve true epitaxial intergrowth between the catalytically critical M1 and M2 phases in the system that are hypothesized to have synergistic interactions, and demonstrate that the resulting catalyst has improved selectivity in the initial studies. Finally, we highlight the crucial role atomic scale characterization and mesoscale structure control play in uncovering the complex underpinnings of the synergistic effect in catalysis.

KEYWORDS:

aberration corrected STEM; complex oxide; heterogeneous catalyst; propane ammoxidation

PMID:
25744246
DOI:
10.1021/acsnano.5b00271

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