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In situ structure-function studies of oxide supported rhodium catalysts by combined energy dispersive XAFS and DRIFTS spectroscopies

By John Evans, Andrew J. Dent, Sofia Diaz-Moreno, Steven G. Fiddy, Bhrat Jyoti, Mark A. Newton and Moniek Tromp


The techniques of energy dispersive EXAFS (EDE), diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (DRIFTS) and mass spectrometry (MS) have been combined to study the structure and function of an oxide supported metal catalyst, namely 5 wt% Rh/Al2O3. Using a FreLoN camera as the EDE detector and a rapid-scanning IR spectrometer, experiments could be performed with a repetition rate of 50 ms. The results show that the nature of the rhodium centers is a function of the partial pressures of the reacting gases (CO and NO) and also temperature. This combination of gases oxidizes metallic rhodium particles to Rh(CO)2 at room temperature. The proportion of the rhodium adopting this site increases as the temperature is raised (up to 450 K). Above that temperature the dicarbonyl decomposes and the metal reclusters. Once this condition is met, catalysis ensues. Gas switching techniques show that at 573 K with NO in excess, the clusters can be oxidized rapidly to afford a linear nitrosyl complex; re-exposure to CO also promotes reclustering and the CO adopts terminal (atop) and bridging (2-fold) sites

Topics: QD
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:47101
Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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