Surface Refaceting Mechanism on Cubic Ceria

  • chair:

    Yang, C. / Capdevila-Cortada, M. / Dong, C. / Zhou, Y. / Wang, J. / Yu, X. / Nefedov, A. / Heißler, S. / López, N. / Shen, W. / Wöll, C. / Wang, Y. (2020)

  • place:

    J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2020, 11, 18, 7925–7931

  • Date: September 2020
  • Abstract

    Polar surfaces of solid oxides are intrinsically unstable and tend to reconstruct due to the diverging electrostatic energy and thus often exhibit unique physical and chemical properties. However, a quantitative description of the restructuring mechanism of these polar surfaces remains challenging. Here we provide an atomic-level picture of the refaceting process that governs the surface polarity compensation of cubic ceria nanoparticles based on the accurate reference data acquired from the well-defined model systems. The combined results from advanced infrared spectroscopy, atomic-resolved transmission electron microscopy, and density functional theory calculations identify a two-step scenario where an initial O-terminated (2 × 2) reconstruction is followed by a severe refaceting via massive mass transport at elevated temperatures to yield {111}-dominated nanopyramids. This significant surface restructuring promotes the redox properties of ceria nanocubes, which account for the enhanced catalytic activity for CO oxidation.