Applied Surface Science, Vol.210, No.3-4, 206-221, 2003
Surface chemistry and microstructural analysis of CexZr1-xO2-y model catalyst surfaces
Cerium-zirconium mixed metal oxides are widely used as promoters in automotive emissions control catalyst systems (three-way catalysts). The addition of zirconium in the cubic lattice of ceria improves the redox properties and the thermal stability, thereby increasing the catalyst efficiency and longevity. The surface composition and availability of surface oxygen of model ceria-zirconia catalyst promoters was considered to develop a reference for future catalytic reactivity studies. The microstructure was characterized with X-ray diffraction (XRD) to determine the effect of zirconium substitution on crystalline structure and grain size. Additionally, the Ce/Zr surface atomic ratio and existence of Ce3+ defect sites were examined with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) for samples with different zirconium concentrations. The surface composition of the model systems with respect to cerium and zirconium concentration is representative of the bulk, indicating no appreciable surface species segregation during model catalyst preparation or exposure to ultrahigh vacuum conditions and analysis techniques. Additionally, the concentration of Ce3+ defect sites was constant and independent of composition. The quantity of surface oxygen was unaffected by electron bombardment or prolonged exposure to ultrahigh vacuum conditions. Additionally, XRD analysis did not indicate the presence of additional crystalline phases beyond the cubic structure for compositions from 100 to 25 at.% cerium, although additional phases may be present in undetectable quantities. This analysis is an important initial step for determining surface reactions and pathways for the development of efficient and sulfur-tolerant. automotive. emissions control catalysts. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.