Matching Items (20)

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Synthesis of Anchored Bimetallic Catalysts via Epitaxy

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The development of thermodynamically stable supported bimetallic catalysts for high-temperature reaction is significant and highly desirable but remains a grand challenge. In this work, we report a novel approach that

The development of thermodynamically stable supported bimetallic catalysts for high-temperature reaction is significant and highly desirable but remains a grand challenge. In this work, we report a novel approach that relies on the interaction of metal nanoparticles with the support material to form unique bimetallic nanoparticles, which epitaxially anchor onto the support surface. Such unique nanostructured systems are catalytically active and ultrastable during selected catalytic reactions. In this paper, we describe the synthesis processes of ultrastable PtZn nanoparticles epitaxially anchored onto ZnO nanowires, which primarily consist of {10−10} nanoscale facets. Such anchored PtZn nanoparticles demonstrated good stability during high temperature treatments and selected catalytic reactions. The synthesis approach reported in this work provides a new strategy to develop thermodynamically stable supported bimetallic catalysts.

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  • 2016-06-17

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Stable and solubilized active Au atom clusters for selective epoxidation of cis-cyclooctene with molecular oxygen

Description

The ability of Au catalysts to effect the challenging task of utilizing molecular oxygen for the selective epoxidation of cyclooctene is fascinating. Although supported nanometre-size Au particles are poorly active,

The ability of Au catalysts to effect the challenging task of utilizing molecular oxygen for the selective epoxidation of cyclooctene is fascinating. Although supported nanometre-size Au particles are poorly active, here we show that solubilized atomic Au clusters, present in ng ml[superscript −1] concentrations and stabilized by ligands derived from the oxidized hydrocarbon products, are active. They can be formed from various Au sources. They generate initiators and propagators to trigger the onset of the auto-oxidation reaction with an apparent turnover frequency of 440 s[superscript −1], and continue to generate additional initiators throughout the auto-oxidation cycle without direct participation in the cycle. Spectroscopic characterization suggests that 7–8 atom clusters are effective catalytically. Extension of work based on these understandings leads to the demonstration that these Au clusters are also effective in selective oxidation of cyclohexene, and that solubilized Pt clusters are also capable of generating initiators for cyclooctene epoxidation.

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  • 2017-03-28

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Atomic scale observation of oxygen delivery during silver–oxygen nanoparticle catalysed oxidation of carbon nanotubes

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To probe the nature of metal-catalysed processes and to design better metal-based catalysts, atomic scale understanding of catalytic processes is highly desirable. Here we use aberration-corrected environmental transmission electron microscopy

To probe the nature of metal-catalysed processes and to design better metal-based catalysts, atomic scale understanding of catalytic processes is highly desirable. Here we use aberration-corrected environmental transmission electron microscopy to investigate the atomic scale processes of silver-based nanoparticles, which catalyse the oxidation of multi-wall carbon nanotubes. A direct semi-quantitative estimate of the oxidized carbon atoms by silver-based nanoparticles is achieved. A mechanism similar to the Mars–van Krevelen process is invoked to explain the catalytic oxidation process. Theoretical calculations, together with the experimental data, suggest that the oxygen molecules dissociate on the surface of silver nanoparticles and diffuse through the silver nanoparticles to reach the silver/carbon interfaces and subsequently oxidize the carbon. The lattice distortion caused by oxygen concentration gradient within the silver nanoparticles provides the direct evidence for oxygen diffusion. Such direct observation of atomic scale dynamics provides an important general methodology for investigations of catalytic processes.

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  • 2016-07-13

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FeOx-supported platinum single-atom and pseudo-single-atom catalysts for chemoselective hydrogenation of functionalized nitroarenes

Description

The catalytic hydrogenation of nitroarenes is an environmentally benign technology for the production of anilines, which are key intermediates for manufacturing agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and dyes. Most of the precious metal

The catalytic hydrogenation of nitroarenes is an environmentally benign technology for the production of anilines, which are key intermediates for manufacturing agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and dyes. Most of the precious metal catalysts, however, suffer from low chemoselectivity when one or more reducible groups are present in a nitroarene molecule. Herein we report FeO[subscript x]-supported platinum single-atom and pseudo-single-atom structures as highly active, chemoselective and reusable catalysts for hydrogenation of a variety of substituted nitroarenes. For hydrogenation of 3-nitrostyrene, the catalyst yields a TOF of ~1,500 h[superscript −1], 20-fold higher than the best result reported in literature, and a selectivity to 3-aminostyrene close to 99%, the best ever achieved over platinum group metals. The superior performance can be attributed to the presence of positively charged platinum centres and the absence of Pt–Pt metallic bonding, both of which favour the preferential adsorption of nitro groups.

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  • 2014-12-03

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Catalysis on singly dispersed bimetallic sites

Description

A catalytic site typically consists of one or more atoms of a catalyst surface that arrange into a configuration offering a specific electronic structure for adsorbing or dissociating reactant molecules.

A catalytic site typically consists of one or more atoms of a catalyst surface that arrange into a configuration offering a specific electronic structure for adsorbing or dissociating reactant molecules. The catalytic activity of adjacent bimetallic sites of metallic nanoparticles has been studied previously. An isolated bimetallic site supported on a non-metallic surface could exhibit a distinctly different catalytic performance owing to the cationic state of the singly dispersed bimetallic site and the minimized choices of binding configurations of a reactant molecule compared with continuously packed bimetallic sites. Here we report that isolated Rh1Co3 bimetallic sites exhibit a distinctly different catalytic performance in reduction of nitric oxide with carbon monoxide at low temperature, resulting from strong adsorption of two nitric oxide molecules and a nitrous oxide intermediate on Rh1Co3 sites and following a low-barrier pathway dissociation to dinitrogen and an oxygen atom. This observation suggests a method to develop catalysts with high selectivity.

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  • 2015-08-01

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Palladium-platinum core-shell icosahedra with substantially enhanced activity and durability towards oxygen reduction

Description

Conformal deposition of platinum as ultrathin shells on facet-controlled palladium nanocrystals offers a great opportunity to enhance the catalytic performance while reducing its loading. Here we report such a system

Conformal deposition of platinum as ultrathin shells on facet-controlled palladium nanocrystals offers a great opportunity to enhance the catalytic performance while reducing its loading. Here we report such a system based on palladium icosahedra. Owing to lateral confinement imposed by twin boundaries and thus vertical relaxation only, the platinum overlayers evolve into a corrugated structure under compressive strain. For the core-shell nanocrystals with an average of 2.7 platinum overlayers, their specific and platinum mass activities towards oxygen reduction are enhanced by eight- and sevenfold, respectively, relative to a commercial catalyst. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the enhancement can be attributed to the weakened binding of hydroxyl to the compressed platinum surface supported on palladium. After 10,000 testing cycles, the mass activity of the core-shell nanocrystals is still four times higher than the commercial catalyst. These results demonstrate an effective approach to the development of electrocatalysts with greatly enhanced activity and durability.

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Date Created
  • 2015-07-01

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Heteroatoms Doped Nanocarbon for Supercapacitors

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This dissertation describes the synthesis and study of porous nanocarbon and further treatment by introducing nitrogen and oxygen groups on nanocarbon, which can be used as electrodes for energy storage

This dissertation describes the synthesis and study of porous nanocarbon and further treatment by introducing nitrogen and oxygen groups on nanocarbon, which can be used as electrodes for energy storage (supercapacitor). Electron microscopy is used to make nanoscale characterization. ZnO nanowires are used as the template of the porous nanocarbon, and nitrogen doping and oxidation treatment can help further increase the capacitive performance of the nanocarbon.

The first part of this thesis focuses on the synthesis of ZnO nanowires. Uniform ZnO nanowires with ~30 nm in width are produced at 1100℃ in a tube furnace with flowing gases (N2: 500 sccm; O2: 15 sccm). The temperature control is one of the most important parameters for making thin and ultra-long ZnO nanowires.

The second part of the thesis is about the synthesis of nanocarbons. Ultrapure ethanol is used as the carbon source to make carbonaceous deposition on ZnO nanowires. The thickness of the nanocarbons can be controlled by reaction temperature and reaction time. When the reaction time was controlled around 1h, the carbonaceous materials coating the ZnO nanowires become very thin. Then by flowing (1000 sccm) hydrogen at 750℃ through the reaction tube the ZnO nanowires are removed due to reduction and evaporation. Electrochemical evaluation of the produced nanocarbons shows that the nanocarbons possess very high specific surface area (>1400 m2/g) and a capacitance as high as 180 F/g at 10A/g in 6M KOH).

The third part of the thesis is the treatment of the as-synthesized nanocarbons to further increase capacitance. NH3 was used as the nitrogen source to react with nanocarbons at 700℃ to incorporate nitrogen group. Nitric acid (HNO3) is used as the oxidant to introduce oxygen groups. After proper nitrogen doping, the nitrogen doped nanocarbons can show high specific capacitance of 260 F/g at 1A/g in 6M KOH. After further oxidation treatment, the capacitance of the oxidized N-doped nanocarbons increased to 320 F/g at 1A/g in 6M KOH.

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  • 2020

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Defects and Defect Clusters in Compound Semiconductors

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Extended crystal defects often play a critical role in determining semiconductor device performance. This dissertation describes the application of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and aberration-corrected scanning TEM (AC-STEM) to study

Extended crystal defects often play a critical role in determining semiconductor device performance. This dissertation describes the application of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and aberration-corrected scanning TEM (AC-STEM) to study defect clusters and the atomic-scale structure of defects in compound semiconductors.

An extensive effort was made to identify specific locations of crystal defects in epitaxial CdTe that might contribute to degraded light-conversion efficiency. Electroluminescence (EL) mapping and the creation of surface etch pits through chemical treatment were combined in attempts to identify specific structural defects for subsequent TEM examination. Observations of these specimens revealed only surface etch pits, without any visible indication of extended defects near their base. While chemical etch pits could be helpful for precisely locating extended defects that intersect with the treated surface, this study concluded that surface roughness surrounding etch pits would likely mitigate against their usefulness.

Defect locations in GaAs solar-cell devices were identified using combinations of EL, photoluminescence, and Raman scattering, and then studied more closely using TEM. Observations showed that device degradation was invariably associated with a cluster of extended defects, rather than a single defect, as previously assumed. AC-STEM observations revealed that individual defects within each cluster consisted primarily of intrinsic stacking faults terminated by 30° and 90° partial dislocations, although other defect structures were also identified. Lomer dislocations were identified near locations where two lines of strain contrast intersected in a large cluster, and a comparatively shallow cluster, largely constrained to the GaAs emitter layer, contained 60° perfect dislocations associated with localized strain contrast.

In another study, misfit dislocations at II-VI/III-V heterovalent interfaces were investigated and characterized using AC-STEM. Misfit strain at ZnTe/GaAs interfaces, which have relatively high lattice mismatch (7.38%), was relieved primarily through Lomer dislocations, while ZnTe/InP interfaces, with only 3.85% lattice mismatch, were relaxed by a mixture of 60° perfect dislocations, 30° partial dislocations, and Lomer dislocations. These results were consistent with the previous findings that misfit strain was relaxed primarily through 60° perfect dislocations that had either dissociated into partial dislocations or interacted to form Lomer dislocations as the amount of misfit strain increased.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Transmission Electron Microscopy Characterization of Photovoltaic Semiconductor Materials

Description

The research of this dissertation has primarily involved using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques to study several semiconductor materials considered promising for future photovoltaic device applications.

Layers of gallium phosphide (GaP)

The research of this dissertation has primarily involved using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques to study several semiconductor materials considered promising for future photovoltaic device applications.

Layers of gallium phosphide (GaP) grown on silicon (Si) substrates were characterized by TEM and aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (AC-STEM). High defect densities were observed for samples with GaP layer thicknesses 250nm and above. Anti-phase boundaries (APBs) within the GaP layers were observed at interfaces with the Si surfaces which were neither atomically flat nor abrupt, contradicting conventional understanding of APB formation.

Microcrystalline-Si (μc-Si) layers grown on crystalline-Si (c-Si) substrates were investigated. Without nanoparticle seeding, an undesired amorphous-Si (a-Si) layer grew below the μc-Si layer. With seeding, the undesired a-Si layer grew above the μc-Si layer, but μc-Si growth proceeded immediately at the c-Si surface. Ellipsometry measurements of percent crystallinity did not match TEM images, but qualitative agreement was found between TEM results and Ultraviolet Raman spectroscopy.

TEM and Xray spectroscopy were used to study metal-induced crystallization and layer exchange for aluminum/ germanium (Al/Ge). Only two samples definitively exhibited both Ge crystallization and layer exchange, and neither process was complete in either sample. The results were finally considered as inconclusive since no reliable path towards layer exchange and crystallization was established.

Plan-view TEM images of indium arsenide (InAs) quantum dots with gallium arsenide antimonide (GaAsSb) spacer layers revealed the termination of some threading dislocations in a sample with spacer-layer thicknesses of 2nm, while a sample with 15-nm-thick spacer layers showed a dense, cross-hatched pattern. Cross-sectional TEM images of samples with 5-nm and 10-nm spacer-layer thicknesses showed less layer undulation in the latter sample. These observations supported photoluminescence (PL) and Xray diffraction (XRD) results, which indicated that GaAsSb spacer layers with 10-nm thickness yielded the highest quality material for photovoltaic device applications.

a-Si/c-Si samples treated by hydrogen plasma were investigated using high-resolution TEM. No obvious structural differences were observed that would account for the large differences measured in minority carrier lifetimes. This key result suggested that other factors such as point defects, hydrogen content, or interface charge must be affecting the lifetimes.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Improving the Sensing Performance of Semiconductor Metal Oxide Gas Sensors through Composition and Nanostructure Design

Description

There are increasing demands for gas sensors in air quality and human health monitoring applications. The qualifying sensor technology must be highly sensitive towards ppb level gases of interest, such

There are increasing demands for gas sensors in air quality and human health monitoring applications. The qualifying sensor technology must be highly sensitive towards ppb level gases of interest, such as acetylene (C2H2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and volatile organic compounds. Among the commercially available sensor technologies, conductometric gas sensors with nanoparticles of oxide semiconductors as sensing materials hold significant advantages in cost, size, and cross-compatibility. However, semiconductor gas sensors must overcome some major challenges in thermal stability, sensitivity, humidity interference, and selectivity before potential widespread adoption in air quality and human health monitoring applications.

The focus of this dissertation is to tackle these issues by optimizing the composition and the morphology of the nanoparticles, and by innovating the structure of the sensing film assembled with the nanoparticles. From the nanoparticles perspective, the thermal stability of tin oxide nanoparticles with different Al dopant concentrations was studied, and the results indicate that within certain range of doping concentration, the dopants segregated at the grain surface can improve the thermal stability by stabilizing the grain boundaries.

From the sensing film perspective, a novel self-assembly approach was developed for copper oxide nanosheets and the sensor response towards H2S gas was revealed to decrease monotonically by more than 60% as the number of layers increase from 1 to 300 (thickness: 0.03-10 μm). Moreover, a sensing mechanism study on the humidity influence on H2S detection was performed to gain more understandings of the role of the hydroxyl group in the surface reaction, and humidity independent response was observed in the monolayer film at 325 ℃. With a more precise deposition tool (Langmuir-Blodgett trough), monolayer film of zinc oxide nanowires sensitized with gold catalyst was prepared, and highly sensitive and specific response to C2H2 in the ppb range was observed. Furthermore, the effect of surface topography of the monolayer film on stabilizing noble metal catalyst, and the sensitization mechanism of gold were investigated.

Lastly, a semiconductor sensor array was developed to analyze the composition of gases dissolved in transformer oil to demonstrate the industrial application of this sensor technology.

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Date Created
  • 2020