Matching Items (31)

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TEM Image Simulations of Structural Dynamics on CeO2-supported Pt Catalysts

Description

Supported catalytic nanoparticles undergo rapid structural transformations faster than many transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) can track. This is the case with platinum nanoparticles supported on cerium oxide (Pt/CeO2) in a

Supported catalytic nanoparticles undergo rapid structural transformations faster than many transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) can track. This is the case with platinum nanoparticles supported on cerium oxide (Pt/CeO2) in a CO and O2 gaseous environment. By furthering our understanding of the structural dynamics of the Pt/CeO2 system, improved catalyst design principles may be derived to enhance the efficiency of this catalyst. Developing static models of a 2 nm Pt nanoparticle supported on CeO2 and simulating TEM images of the models was found to create similar images to those seen in experimental TEM time-resolved series of the system. Rotations of static models on a ceria support provides a way to understand the experimental samples in three dimensions, which is difficult in two dimensional TEM images. This project expands the possibilities of interpreting TEM images of catalytic systems.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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A Modelling Approach to Determine Gas and Temperature Profiles during Catalytic Reactions in Environmental Transmission Electron Microscopy

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A scheme has been developed for finding the gas and temperature profiles in an environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM), using COMSOL Multiphysics and the finite element method (FEM). This model

A scheme has been developed for finding the gas and temperature profiles in an environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM), using COMSOL Multiphysics and the finite element method (FEM). This model should permit better correlation between catalyst structure and activity, by providing a more accurate understanding of gas composition than the assumption of homogeneity typically used. While more data is needed to complete the model, current progress has identified several details about the system and its ideal modeling approach.
It is found that at the low pressures and flowrates of catalysis in ETEM, natural and forced convection are negligible forms of heat transfer. Up to 250 °C, radiation is also negligible. Gas conduction, being enhanced at low pressures, dominates.
Similarly, mass transport is dominated by diffusion, which is most accurately described by the Maxwell-Stefan model. Bulk fluid flow is highly laminar, and in fact borders the line between continuum and molecular flow. The no-slip boundary condition does not apply here, and both viscous slip and thermal creep must be considered. In the porous catalyst pellet considered in this work, Knudsen diffusion dominates, with bulk flow being best described by the Darcy-Brinkman equation.
With these physics modelled, it appears as though the gas homogeneity assumption is not completely accurate, breaking down in the porous pellet where reactions occur. While these results are not yet quantitative, this trend is likely to remain in future model iterations. It is not yet clear how significant this deviation is, though methods are proposed to minimize it if necessary.
Some model-experiment mismatch has been found which must be further explored. Experimental data shows a pressure dependence on the furnace temperature at constant power, a trend as-yet unresolvable by the model. It is proposed that this relates to the breakdown of the assumption of fluid continuity at low pressures and small dimensions, though no compelling mathematical formulation has been found. This issue may have significant ramifications on ETEM and ETEM experiment design.

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  • 2017-05

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Effect of Defects on Calculation of Electron Energy Loss Spectra of Ceria and Titania

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Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing today's society.Since the late 19th century, the global average temperature has been rising. In order to minimize the temperature increase of

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing today's society.Since the late 19th century, the global average temperature has been rising. In order to minimize the temperature increase of the earth, it is necessary to develop alternative energy technologies that do not depend on fossil fuels. Solar fuels are one potential energy source for the future. Solar fuel technologies use catalysts to convert low energy molecules into fuels via artificial photosynthesis. TiO2, or titania, is an important model photocatalyst for studying these reactions. It is also important to use remaining fossil fuel resources efficiently and with the lowest possible greenhouse gas emissions. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that aim to accomplish this goal and CeO2, or ceria, is an important material used in these devices. One way to observe the atomic structure of a material is with a transmission electron microscope (TEM). A traditional transmission electron microscope employs a beam of fast electrons to form atomic resolution images of a material. While imaging gives information about the positions of the atoms in the material, spectroscopy gives information about the composition and bonding of the material. A type of spectroscopy that can be performed inside the transmission electron microscope is electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), which provides a fundamental understanding of the electronic structure of a material. The energy loss spectrum also contains information on the chemical bonding in the material, and theoretical calculations that model the spectra are essential to correctly interpreting this bonding information. FEFF is a software that performs EELS calculations. Calculations of the oxygen K edges of TiO2 and CeO2 were made using FEFF in order to understand the changes that occur in the spectrum when oxygen vacancies are introduced as well as the changes near a grain boundary.

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  • 2013-12

In situ and operando transmission electron microscopy of catalytic materials

Description

Catalytic nanomaterials play a major role in chemical conversions and energy transformations. Understanding how materials control and regulate surface reactions is a major objective for fundamental research on heterogeneous catalysts.

Catalytic nanomaterials play a major role in chemical conversions and energy transformations. Understanding how materials control and regulate surface reactions is a major objective for fundamental research on heterogeneous catalysts. In situ environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) is a powerful technique for revealing the atomic structures of materials at elevated temperatures in the presence of reactive gases. This approach can allow the structure–reactivity relations underlying catalyst functionality to be investigated. Thus far, ETEM has been limited by the absence of in situ measurements of gas-phase catalytic products. To overcome this deficiency, operando TEM techniques are being developed that combine atomic characterization with the simultaneous measurement of catalytic products. This article provides a short review of the current status and major developments in the application of ETEM to gas-phase catalysis over the past 10 years.

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  • 2015-01-01

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Structural Evolution during Photocorrosion of Ni/NiO Core/Shell Cocatalyst on TiO2

Description

The Ni/NiO core/shell structure is one of the most efficient co-catalysts for solar water splitting when coupled with suitable semiconducting oxides. It has been shown that pretreated Ni/NiO core/shell structures

The Ni/NiO core/shell structure is one of the most efficient co-catalysts for solar water splitting when coupled with suitable semiconducting oxides. It has been shown that pretreated Ni/NiO core/shell structures are more active than pure Ni metal, pure NiO or mixed dispersion of Ni metal and NiO nanoparticles. However, Ni/NiO core/shell structures on TiO2 are only able to generate H2 but not O2 in aqueous water. The nature of the hydrogen evolution reaction in these systems was investigated by correlating photochemical H2 production with atomic resolution structure determined with aberration corrected electron microscopy. It was found that the core/shell structure plays an important role for H2 generation but the system undergoes deactivation due to a loss of metallic Ni. During the H2 evolution reaction, the metal core initially formed partial voids which grew and eventually all the Ni diffused out of the core-shell into solution leaving an inactive hollow NiO void structure. The H2 evolution was generated by a photochemical reaction involving photocorrosion of Ni metal.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Characterization of light-absorbing carbon particles at three altitudes in East Asian outflow by transmission electron microscopy

Description

The morphology, microstructure, and composition of the submicron fraction of individual light-absorbing carbon (LAC) particles collected by research aircraft during the ACE-Asia (Asian Pacific Regional Aerosol Characterization Experiment) project above

The morphology, microstructure, and composition of the submicron fraction of individual light-absorbing carbon (LAC) particles collected by research aircraft during the ACE-Asia (Asian Pacific Regional Aerosol Characterization Experiment) project above the Yellow Sea at altitudes of 120, 450 and 1500 m are investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Two types of carbonaceous particles, small spherule soot with graphitic spherules and amorphous carbonaceous spheres (brown carbon), are found at all altitudes in high concentration. For soot particles, emphasis of the study is on the component subparticles (spherules). The nanoscopic structures of the small spherule soot show no significant difference at three altitudes although the size distribution of primary spherules showed that 70% of the total volume lies in the ranges 30–50, 50–85 and 30–50 nm, respectively. For the amorphous carbonaceous spheres, 70% of the total volume from three altitudes lies in the range 200–350, 160–470 and 150–320 nm, respectively. Within the size fraction studied (submicron, with most particles in the range 50 to 500 nm) the number concentration ratios of the amorphous carbonaceous spheres to primary spherules in soot at altitudes of 120, 450 and 1500 m are about 1, 1.5 and 10, respectively and their volume ratios are about 260, 50 and 1400. Lower relative concentrations of large spherule soot with intermediate graphitic structure were observed at 120 m. Also, low relative number concentrations of carbon cenospheres were observed at 120 and 1500 m. A key result of the study is that in vertically stratified outflow from East Asia, the character of LAC may have strong variance with altitude thus resulting in optical characteristics that vary with altitude. Also, apparent "aging" of LAC deduced from samples at multiple ground stations may instead reflect differences in the original carbon aerosols.

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  • 2013-06-04

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Simulation of Atomic Structure around Defects in Anatase

Description

Titanium dioxide is an essential material under research for energy and environmental applications, chiefly through its photocatalytic properties. These properties allow it to be used for water-splitting, detoxification, and

Titanium dioxide is an essential material under research for energy and environmental applications, chiefly through its photocatalytic properties. These properties allow it to be used for water-splitting, detoxification, and photovoltaics, in addition to its conventional uses in pigmentation and sunscreen. Titanium dioxide exists in several polymorphic structures, of which the most common are rutile and anatase. We focused on anatase for the purposes of this research, due to its promising results for hydrolysis.

Anatase exists often in its reduced form (TiO2-x), enabling it to perform redox reactions through the absorption and release of oxygen into/from the crystal lattice. These processes result in structural changes, induced by defects in the material, which can theoretically be observed using advanced characterization methods. In situ electron microscopy is one of such methods, and can provide a window into these structural changes. However, in order to interpret the structural evolution caused by defects in materials, it is often necessary and pertinent to use atomistic simulations to compare the experimental images with models.

In this thesis project, we modeled the defect structures in anatase, around oxygen vacancies and at surfaces, using molecular dynamics, benchmarked with density functional theory. Using a “reactive” forcefield designed for the simulation of interactions between anatase and water that can model and treat bonding through the use of bond orders, different vacancy structures were analyzed and simulated. To compare these theoretical, generated models with experimental data, the “multislice approach” to TEM image simulation was used. We investigated a series of different vacancy configurations and surfaces and generated fingerprints for comparison with TEM experiments. This comparison demonstrated a proof of concept for a technique suggesting the possibility for the identification of oxygen vacancy structures directly from TEM images. This research aims to improve our atomic-level understanding of oxide materials, by providing a methodology for the analysis of vacancy formation from very subtle phenomena in TEM images.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Resistivity and optical transmittance simulation on metal embedded transparent conducting oxide thin films

Description

This work focuses on simulation of electrical resistivity and optical behaviors of thin films, where an Ag or Au thin layer is embedded in zinc oxide. Enhanced conductivity and transparency

This work focuses on simulation of electrical resistivity and optical behaviors of thin films, where an Ag or Au thin layer is embedded in zinc oxide. Enhanced conductivity and transparency were earlier achieved with multilayer structured transparent conducting oxide (TCO) sandwich layer with metal (TCO/metal/TCO). Sputtering pattern of metal layer is simulated to obtain the morphology, covered area fraction, and the percolation strength. The resistivity as a function of the metal layer thickness fits the modeled trend of covered area fraction beyond the percolation threshold. This result not only presents the robustness of the simulation, but also demonstrates the influence of metal morphology in multilayer structure. Effective medium coefficients are defined from the coverage and percolation strength to obtain simulated optical transmittance which matches experimental observation. The coherence of resistivity and optical transmittance validates the simulation of the sputtered pattern and the incorporation of percolation theory in the model.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Electrochemical and photoelectrochemical properties of the copper hydroxyphosphate mineral libethenite

Description

There has been much interest in photoelectrochemical conversion of solar energy in recent years due to its potential for low-–cost, sustainable and renewable production of fuels. Despite the huge potential,

There has been much interest in photoelectrochemical conversion of solar energy in recent years due to its potential for low-–cost, sustainable and renewable production of fuels. Despite the huge potential, there are still a number of technical barriers due to the many constraints needed in order to drive photoelectrochemical reactions such as overall water splitting and the identification of efficient and effective semiconductor materials. To this end, the search for novel semiconductors that can act as light absorbers is still needed. The copper hydroxyphosphate mineral libethenite (CHP), which has a chemical formula of Cu2(OH)PO4, has been recently shown to be active for photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue under UV-–irradiation, indicating that photo-excited electrons and holes can effectively be generated and separated in this material. However, CHP has not been well studied and many of its fundamental electrochemical and photoelectrochemical properties are still unknown. In this work, the synthesis of different morphologies of CHP using hydrothermal synthesis and precipitation methods were explored. Additionally, a preliminary investigation of the relevant fundamental characteristics such as the bandgap, flatband potential, band diagram, electrochemical and photoelectrochemical properties for CHP was performed. Better understanding of the properties of this material may lead to the development of improved catalysts and photocatalysts from natural sources.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Electrochemical stability of nanoscale electrodes

Description

The electrochemical behavior of nanoscale solids has become an important topic to applications, such as catalysis, sensing, and nano–electronic devices. The electrochemical behavior of elemental metal and alloy particles was

The electrochemical behavior of nanoscale solids has become an important topic to applications, such as catalysis, sensing, and nano–electronic devices. The electrochemical behavior of elemental metal and alloy particles was studied in this work both theoretically and experimentally. A systematic thermodynamic derivation for the size–dependent Pourbaix Diagram for elemental metal particles is presented. The stability of Pt particles was studied by in situ electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (ECSTM). It is shown that small Pt particles dissolve at a lower potential than the corresponding bulk material. For the alloy particles, two size ranges of AuAg particles, ∼4 nm and ∼45 nm in diameter, were synthesized by co–reduction of the salts of Au and Ag from an aqueous phase. The alloy particles were dealloyed at a series of potential by chronoamperometry in acid, and the resulting morphology and composition were characterized by electron microscopy, energy dispersive X–ray spectroscopy (EDX). In the case of the smaller particles, only surface dealloying occurred yielding a core–shell structure. A porous structure was observed for the larger particles when the potential was larger than a critical value that was within 50 mV of the thermodynamic prediction.

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Date Created
  • 2012