Dynamic formation of single-atom catalytic active sites on ceria-supported gold nanoparticles

Yang Gang Wang, Donghai Mei, Vassiliki Alexandra Glezakou, Jun Li, Roger Rousseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

224 Citations (Scopus)


Catalysis by gold supported on reducible oxides has been extensively studied, yet issues such as the nature of the catalytic site and the role of the reducible support remain fiercely debated topics. Here we present ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of an unprecedented dynamic single-atom catalytic mechanism for the oxidation of carbon monoxide by ceria-supported gold clusters. The reported dynamic single-atom catalytic mechanism results from the ability of the gold cation to strongly couple with the redox properties of the ceria in a synergistic manner, thereby lowering the energy of redox reactions. The gold cation can break away from the gold nanoparticle to catalyse carbon monoxide oxidation, adjacent to the metal/oxide interface and subsequently reintegrate back into the nanoparticle after the reaction is completed. Our study highlights the importance of the dynamic creation of active sites under reaction conditions and their essential role in catalysis..

Original languageEnglish
Article number6511
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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