Composition-dependent morphologies of CeO2 nanoparticles in the presence of Co-adsorbed H2O and CO2: a density functional theory study

Samuel Moxon, Adam R. Symington, Joshua S. Tse, Joseph M. Flitcroft, Jonathan M. Skelton, Lisa J. Gillie, David J. Cooke, Stephen C. Parker, Marco Molinari

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Catalytic activity is affected by surface morphology, and specific surfaces display greater activity than others. A key challenge is to define synthetic strategies to enhance the expression of more active surfaces and to maintain their stability during the lifespan of the catalyst. In this work, we outline an ab initio approach, based on density functional theory, to predict surface composition and particle morphology as a function of environmental conditions, and we apply this to CeO2 nanoparticles in the presence of co-adsorbed H2O and CO2 as an industrially relevant test case. We find that dissociative adsorption of both molecules is generally the most favourable, and that the presence of H2O can stabilise co-adsorbed CO2. We show that changes in adsorption strength with temperature and adsorbate partial pressure lead to significant changes in surface stability, and in particular that co-adsorption of H2O and CO2 stabilizes the {100} and {110} surfaces over the {111} surface. Based on the changes in surface free energy induced by the adsorbed species, we predict that cuboidal nanoparticles are favoured in the presence of co-adsorbed H2O and CO2, suggesting that cuboidal particles should experience a lower thermodynamic driving force to reconstruct and thus be more stable as catalysts for processes involving these species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11232-11249
Number of pages18
Issue number23
Early online date16 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2024

Data Availability Statement

Raw data related to this research are available at

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science

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