"Designing a Nanoscale Three-phase Electrochemical Pathway to Promote Pt-catalyzed Formaldehyde Oxidation"

Jinwei Xu: Xin Xiao, Zewen Zhang, Yecun Wu, David T. Boyle, Hiang Kwee Lee, Wenxiao Huang, Yuzhang Li, Hansen Wang, Jun Li, Yangying Zhu, Baoliang Chen, William Mitch, and Yi Cui; Nano Letters, 11/17/20.

Additional Authors: Xin Xiao, Zewen Zhang, Yecun Wu, David T. Boyle, Hiang Kwee Lee, Wenxiao Huang, Yuzhang Li, Hansen Wang, Jun Li, Yangying Zhu, Baoliang Chen, William Mitch, and Yi Cui

Abstract:

Gas-phase heterogeneous catalysis is a process spatially constrained on the two-dimensional surface of a solid catalyst. Here, we introduce a new toolkit to open up the third dimension. We discovered that the activity of a solid catalyst can be dramatically promoted by covering its surface with a nanoscale-thin layer of liquid electrolyte while maintaining efficient delivery of gas reactants, a strategy we call three-phase catalysis. Introducing the liquid electrolyte converts the original surface catalytic reaction into an electrochemical pathway with mass transfer facilitated by free ions in a three-dimensional space. We chose the oxidation of formaldehyde as a model reaction and observed a 25000-times enhancement in the turnover frequency of Pt in three-phase catalysis as compared to conventional heterogeneous catalysis. We envision three-phase catalysis as a new dimension for catalyst design and anticipate its applications in more chemical reactions from pollution control to the petrochemical industry.

 

Abstract Image