Journal of Catalysis, Vol.384, 49-60, 2020
The interplay between surface facet and reconstruction on isopropanol conversion over SrTiO3 nanocrystals
Strontium titanate (SrTiO3) is an extensively investigated perovskite for various applications due to its optical, electrical and chemical properties. To gain an in-depth understanding of the active sites involved in heterogeneous catalysis over the broadly used SrTiO3 (STO), we studied a model reaction, isopropanol conversion, on three differently shape-controlled nanocrystals: cube, truncated cube and dodecahedra. SEM, XRD and XPS confirmed the morphology, phase and composition of STO shapes. Low energy ion scattering (LEIS) revealed the occurrence of surface reconstruction over STO shapes during O-2 pretreatment at different temperatures. Based on the catalytic activities, scanning transmission electron microscopy images and density functional theory calculations, the step sites on STO derived from surface reconstruction were proposed to be the active sites for isopropanol conversion. This was further confirmed by steady state isotopic kinetic analysis (SSITKA) which demonstrated similar intrinsic turnover frequencies (TOFs) for the differently reconstructed STO shapes. It is concluded that the crystal facets impose an indirect effect on the catalysis of STO via controlling the degrees of surface reconstruction: the less stable STO (1 1 0) facet (dodecahedra) leads to more step sites after reconstruction and hence higher overall reaction rate than the more stable (1 0 0) facet (cube). This work highlights the important interplay between the crystal facet and surface reconstruction in controlling the nature and density of active sties and thus catalysis over complex oxides. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.