Atomic Resolution Imaging of Nanoscale Structural Ordering in a Complex Metal Oxide Catalyst
KAUST DepartmentAdvanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center
Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Chemical Science Program
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Imaging and Characterization Core Lab
Nanostructured Functional Materials (NFM) laboratory
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AbstractThe determination of the atomic structure of a functional material is crucial to understanding its "structure-to-property" relationship (e.g., the active sites in a catalyst), which is however challenging if the structure possesses complex inhomogeneities. Here, we report an atomic structure study of an important MoVTeO complex metal oxide catalyst that is potentially useful for the industrially relevant propane-based BP/SOHIO process. We combined aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy with synchrotron powder X-ray crystallography to explore the structure at both nanoscopic and macroscopic scales. At the nanoscopic scale, this material exhibits structural and compositional order within nanosized "domains", while the domains show disordered distribution at the macroscopic scale. We proposed that the intradomain compositional ordering and the interdomain electric dipolar interaction synergistically induce the displacement of Te atoms in the Mo-V-O channels, which determines the geometry of the multifunctional metal oxo-active sites.
SponsorsThis research was supported by baseline research funds from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. We appreciate the support of Dr. Qinfen Gu from Australian Synchrotron research center for carrying out the powder X-ray diffraction experiments. We thank Prof. Guanglie Lv (National Science Park, Zhejiang, PR China) for useful discussions.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)
JournalChemistry of Materials