Selective, active, and robust catalysts are necessary for the efficient utilization of new feedstocks. Face-selective catalysts can precisely modify catalytic properties, but are often unstable under reaction conditions, changing shape and losing selectivity. Herein we report a method for synthesizing stable heterogeneous catalysts in which the morphology and selectivity can be tuned precisely and predictably. Using nanocrystal supports, we epitaxially stabilize specific active phase morphologies. This changes the distribution of active sites of different coordination, which have correspondingly different catalytic properties. Specifically, we utilize the different interfacial free-energies between perovskite titanate nanocube supports with different crystal lattice dimensions and a platinum active phase. By substituting different sized cations into the support, we change the lattice mismatch between the support and the active phase, thereby changing the interfacial free-energy, and stabilizing the active phase in different morphologies in a predictable manner. We correlate these changes in active phase atomic coordination with changes in catalytic performance (activity and selectivity), using the hydrogenation of acrolein as a test reaction. The method is general and can be applied to many nanocrystal supports and active phase combinations.
- Heterogeneous catalysis
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