Rendering Photoreactivity to Ceria: The Role of Defects

  • chair:

    Yang, C. /  Yu, X. /, Pleßow, P.N. /  Heißler, S. / Weidler, P.G. / Nefedov, A. / Studt, F. / Wang, Y. /  Wöll, C. (2017)

  • place:

    Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 2017, 6, 56, 45, 14301-14305, doi:10.1002/anie.201707965

  • Date: November 2017


The photoreactivity of ceria, a photochemically inert oxide with a large band gap, can be increased to competitive values by introducing defects. This previously unexplained phenomenon has been investigated by monitoring the UV‐induced decomposition of N2O on well‐defined single crystals of ceria by using infrared reflection‐absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS). The IRRAS data, in conjunction with theory, provide direct evidence that reducing the ceria(110) surface yields high photoreactivity. No such effects are seen on the (111) surface. The low‐temperature photodecomposition of N2O occurs at surface O vacancies on the (110) surface, where the electron‐rich cerium cations with a significantly lowered coordination number cause a local lowering of the huge band gap (ca. 6 eV). The quantum efficiency of strongly reduced ceria(110) surfaces in the photodecomposition of N2O amounts to 0.03 %, and is thus comparable to that reported for the photooxidation of CO on rutile TiO2(110).