A catalytic site typically consists of one or more atoms of a catalyst surface that arrange into a configuration offering a specific electronic structure for adsorbing or dissociating reactant molecules. The catalytic activity of adjacent bimetallic sites of metallic nanoparticles has been studied previously. An isolated bimetallic site supported on a non-metallic surface could exhibit a distinctly different catalytic performance owing to the cationic state of the singly dispersed bimetallic site and the minimized choices of binding configurations of a reactant molecule compared with continuously packed bimetallic sites. Here we report that isolated Rh1Co3 bimetallic sites exhibit a distinctly different catalytic performance in reduction of nitric oxide with carbon monoxide at low temperature, resulting from strong adsorption of two nitric oxide molecules and a nitrous oxide intermediate on Rh1Co3 sites and following a low-barrier pathway dissociation to dinitrogen and an oxygen atom. This observation suggests a method to develop catalysts with high selectivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology