Predicting NOx Catalysis by Quantifying Ce3+ from Surface and Lattice Oxygen

Vinod K. Paidi, Louisa Savereide, David J. Childers, Justin M. Notestein, Charles A. Roberts*, Johan Van Lierop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Our work introduces a novel technique based on the magnetic response of Ce3+ and molecular oxygen adsorbed on the surface of nanoceria and ceria-based catalysts that quantifies the number and type of defects and demonstrates that this information is the missing link that finally enables predictive design of NOx catalysis in ceria-based systems. The new insights into ceria catalysis are enabled by quantifying the above for different ceria nanoparticle shapes (i.e., surface terminations) and O2 partial pressure. We used ceria nanorods, cubes, and spheres and evaluated them for catalytic reduction of NO by CO. We then demonstrated the quantitative prediction of the reactivity of nanomaterials via their magnetism in different atmospheric environments. We find that the observed enhancement of reactivity for ceria nanocubes and nanorods is not directly due to improved reactivity on those surface terminations but rather due to the increased ease of generating lattice defects in these materials. Finally, we demonstrate that the method is equally applicable to highly topical and industrially relevant ceria mixed oxides, using nanoscale alumina-supported ceria as a representative case-a most ill-defined catalyst. Because the total oxide surface is a mixture of active ceria and inactive support and ceria is not likely present as crystallographically well-defined phases, reactivity does not easily scale with surface area or a surface termination. The key parameter to design efficient NO reduction in ceria-based catalysts is knowing and controlling the surface localized excess Ce3+ ion areal density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30670-30678
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 13 2017


  • Ce magnetic response
  • Ce ↔ Ce redox transformation
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • nanoceria
  • oxygen vacancy defects
  • shape-selectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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