Visualisation of single atom dynamics and their role in nanocatalysts under controlled reaction environments

Pratibha L. Gai*, Leonardo Lari, Michael R. Ward, Edward D. Boyes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Direct real time studies of reacting individual atoms in technologically important gold and platinum nanocatalysts in controlled reducing and oxidising gas environments and operating temperatures using novel environmental scanning transmission electron microscopy (ESTEM) with single atom sensitivity are presented. The direct in situ observations provide new insights into the dynamic behaviour of single atoms which may be important as catalytic active sites as well as migrating as part of deactivation mechanisms. The single atom dynamics reveal that the primary role of nanoparticles in the catalysts is to act as reservoir of ad-atoms or clusters. Possible reaction mechanisms are described briefly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-359
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2014

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