Cu-doped perovskite-type oxides: A structural deep dive and examination of their exsolution behaviour influenced by B-site doping

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Perovskite-type oxides have gained significant attention in the scientific community due to their unique properties and potential applications. Their ability to exsolve reducible B-site cations (e.g. Co, Ni, Cu) combined with their flexibility regarding A-site and B-site composition allows for the tailoring of novel catalytic materials. This study focuses on B-site doped perovskite-type oxides with a general formula of Nd0.6Ca0.4Fe1-xCuxO3 and Pr0.6Ca0.4Fe1-xCuxO3 (x = 0.0, 0.03, 0.05, 0.10) for potential use as a catalyst for Methanol Steam Reforming via the exsolution of catalytically active Cu nanoparticles. The atomic and electronic structure, morphology, and exsolution behaviour of these materials were investigated experimentally and with density functional theory, with a specific emphasis on the impact of B-site doping with varying Cu content as well as choice of A-site element. Both parameters influenced the crystal structure, surface area, and morphology of the materials. The exsolution behaviour of the materials was observed using in-situ XRD at DESY beamline P02.1 at PETRA III, with nanoparticles forming after reductive treatments on the host oxide surface. The quantity and size of the nanoparticles were found to be adjustable by selecting the A-site ion, doping content at the B-site, and the choice of reducing agent. Materials with higher Cu content on the B-site exhibited facilitated exsolution. Furthermore, exsolution was promoted with Nd as the A-site element compared to Pr. In conclusion, the controlled exsolution of Cu nanoparticles introduces Cu-doped perovskite-type oxides as promising candidates for developing novel catalytic systems. The findings underscore the importance of fine-tuning the oxide composition (A-site element, amount of B-site dopant) to achieve tailored exsolution of nanoparticles, which is crucial for rational material design. By leveraging this knowledge, catalysts with finely tuned properties can be created for specific applications and operational environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114787
Number of pages15
JournalCatalysis today
Issue number1 July
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • DFT
  • Exsolution
  • In-situ XRD
  • Perovskite
  • Synchrotron

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