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Wednesday, April 23

Understanding Shape Effect in Catalysis:
Ceria Nanocrystals as Catalyst and Catalyst Support

Zili Wu, , Chemical Science Division and Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, ORNL
Materials and Chemistry Seminar Series
10:00 AM — 11:00 AM, Building 4500-N, Weinberg Auditorium
Contact: Olga Ovchinnikova (, 865.574.4871


Heterogeneous catalysis takes place on the surface of catalytic materials and thus the surface structure plays an essential role in catalysis. Establishing the structure-catalysis relationship is the Holy Grail in fundamental catalysis research and the basis for designing better catalytic materials. The structural complexity and heterogeneity of traditional catalysts prevents a full understanding of the interplay between the surface structure and catalytic behaviors. In this presentation, I will showcase how we make use of nanoshaped ceria as model systems (as both catalyst and catalyst support) to gain molecular level understanding of the shape effect in catalysis through a combination of detailed in situ spectroscopic and kinetic studies. Insights have been gained into how the surface structure of ceria catalyst affects its redox and acid-base properties and those of ceria-supported catalysts. The work provides fundamental basis for the improvement of current heterogeneous catalysts as well as the design of highly efficient catalyst via shape control without changing the catalyst composition.

The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division. A portion of this research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is sponsored at ORNL, by the Division of Scientific User Facilities, Basic Energy Science, U. S. Department of Energy.

Coffee and cookies served before seminar.