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X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS): Surface Structural Determination of Alloy Nanoparticles...

by Guanghui Zhang, Nicole Libretto, Stephen C Purdy, Laryssa Cesar, Jeffrey Miller
Publication Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
Page Numbers
659 to 669
Publisher Name
Publisher Location
Cham, Switzerland

In catalysis since reactions occur on the surface of nanoparticles (NP), it is essential to determine the composition of this structure, rather than that of the nanoparticles, since the two may be, and often are, different. Conventional techniques including X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are powerful techniques, but these data reflect the average composition of the entire particle. In this chapter, we introduce the method of EXAFS analysis, which isolates the surface atoms of nanoparticles based on its sensitivity to chemical reactions, specifically surface oxidation. As shown in our case studies, if the surface of a Pt-based nanoparticle is contacted by air at room temperature, the surface will selectively oxidize, resulting in the loss of Pt-Pt and Pt-M bonds to the formation of Pt-O bonds. The difference between the completely reduced and surface-oxidized nanoparticle allows for the isolation of signal from the catalytic surface. Although these examples highlight Pt alloys, similar analysis is also possible for other group 8 and IB bimetallic catalysts.