Revealing Correlation of Valence State with Nanoporous Structure in Cobalt Catalyst Nanoparticles by In Situ Environmental TEM
ABSTRACT Simultaneously probing the electronic structure and morphology of materials at the nanometer or atomic scale while a chemical reaction proceeds is significant for understanding the underlying reaction mechanisms and optimizing a materials design. This is especially important in the study of nanoparticle catalysts, yet such experiments have rarely been achieved. Utilizing an environmental transmission electron microscope equipped with a differentially pumped gas cell, we are able to conduct nanoscopic imaging and electron energy loss spectroscopy in situ for cobalt catalysts under reaction conditions. Studies reveal quantitative correlation of the cobalt valence states with the particles' nanoporous structures. The in situ experiments were performed on nanoporous cobalt particles coated with silica, while a 15 mTorr hydrogen environment was maintained at various temperatures (300-600 °C). When the nanoporous particles were reduced, the valence state changed from cobalt oxide to metallic cobalt and concurrent structural coarsening was observed. In situ mapping of the valence state and the corresponding nanoporous structures allows quantitative analysis necessary for understanding and improving the mass activity and lifetime of cobalt-based catalysts, for example, for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis that converts carbon monoxide and hydrogen into fuels, and uncovering the catalyst optimization mechanisms.
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ABSTRACT: Initiatives to support the sustainable development of the nanotechnology sector have led to rapid growth in research on the environmental fate, hazards and risk of engineered nanoparticles (ENP). As the field has matured over the last 10 years, a detailed picture of the best methods to track potential forms of exposure, their uptake routes and best methods to identify and track internal fate and distributions following assimilation into organisms has begun to emerge. Here we summarise the current state of the field, focussing particularly on metal and metal oxide ENPs. Studies to date have shown that ENPs undergo a range of physical and chemical transformations in the environment to the extent that exposures to pristine well dispersed materials will occur only rarely in nature. Methods to track assimilation and internal distributions must, therefore, be capable of detecting these modified forms. The uptake mechanisms involved in ENP assimilation may include a range of trans-cellular trafficking and distribution pathways, which can be followed by passage to intracellular compartments. To trace toxicokinetics and distributions, analytical and imaging approaches are available to determine rates, states and forms. When used hierarchically, these tools can map ENP distributions to specific target organs, cell types and organelles, such as endosomes, caveolae and lysosomes and assess speciation states. The first decade of ENP ecotoxicology research, thus, points to an emerging paradigm where exposure is to transformed materials transported into tissues and cells via passive and active pathways within which they can be assimilated and therein identified using a tiered analytical and imaging approach.Ecotoxicology 12/2014; 24(2). DOI:10.1007/s10646-014-1387-3 · 2.50 Impact Factor
MRS Bulletin 01/2015; 40(01):12-18. DOI:10.1557/mrs.2014.305 · 5.07 Impact Factor
MRS Bulletin 01/2015; 40(01):38-45. DOI:10.1557/mrs.2014.304 · 5.07 Impact Factor