Cation synergies affect ammonia adsorption over VOX and (V,W)OX dispersed on α-Al2O3 (0001) and α-Fe2O3 (0001)

Martin E. McBriarty*, Donald E. Ellis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The catalytic behavior of oxide-supported metal oxide species depends on the nature of the support and the presence of co-catalysts. We use density functional theory (DFT) to explore the relationship between the structure and chemical behavior of vanadium oxide in light of its industrial use for the selective catalytic reduction of nitric oxide with ammonia (NO-SCR). The relative stabilities of dispersed VOX monomers, dimers, and long-chain oligomers on two model oxide support surfaces with similar structure but drastically different chemical behavior, α-Al2O3 (0001) and α-Fe2O3 (0001), are determined. The effect of added tungsten, known to promote NO-SCR, is also investigated on the relatively inert α-Al2O3 (0001) support. We find that the adsorption behavior of NH3, representing the first step of the NO-SCR reaction, depends strongly on the VOX local structure. Protonation of NH3 to NH4+ over surface hydroxyls is energetically favorable over VOX-WOX dimers and VOX oligomers, which are stabilized by the reducible α-Fe2O3 (0001) support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalSurface Science
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Ammonia adsorption
  • Density functional theory
  • Electronic structure
  • Nitric oxide reduction
  • Oxide support
  • Vanadium oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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