Evolution of high-energy electron beam irradiation effects on zeolite supported catalyst: Metal nanoprecipitation

Kai Song, Dana J. Sauter, Jinsong Wu*, Vinayak P. Dravid, Peter C. Stair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The high-energy electron irradiation effects on Fe-loaded, zeolite-supported catalyst were examined by transmission electron microscopy. In the original sample under little beam irradiation, no nanoparticles larger than 1 nm can be observed, and about half of the loaded Fe is identified as being in a positive ion state (i.e., iron oxides). Metal Fe nanoparticles in neutral state Fe 0 were then found to precipitate quickly under beam illumination with an electron dose of ∼2.4 × 10 7 nm -2 or above at room temperature. Since electron microscopy is widely applied in the characterization of all sorts of catalysts supported on zeolites, the current observations could be treated as a model system to distinguish the metal nanoparticles existing in the original catalyst from those precipitated by electron beam irradiation. It was the ionization effect of electron radiation, other than temperature rise, that played an important role in the formation and growth of the metal precipitates. In the current system, the induced nanoprecipitations were identified as pure Fe metal clusters by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and electron diffraction. As in current modeling system, although only metal Fe nanoparticles can be observed by EELS if the irradiation effect is ignored at the first place, the functional component in the loaded catalyst is actually a mixture of Fe-oxide and Fe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2 2012


  • irradiation effects
  • Metal precipitation
  • transmission electron microscopy
  • Zeolite supported catalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of high-energy electron beam irradiation effects on zeolite supported catalyst: Metal nanoprecipitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this