Identification of the structural phases of Ce(x)Zr(1-x)O2 by Eu(III) luminescence studies.

Chemistry Department, ICCOM-CNR, INSTM, Center of Excellence for Nanostructured Materials (CENMAT), University of Trieste, via L. Giorgieri 1, 34127 Trieste, Italy.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (Impact Factor: 11.44). 09/2009; 131(36):13155-60. DOI: 10.1021/ja905158p
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite the wide application of ceria-zirconia based materials in Three Way Catalysts (TWCs), Solid Oxides Fuel Cells (SOFCs), and H(2) production and purification reactions, an active debate is still open on the correlation between their structure and redox/catalytic performances. Existing reports support the need of either (i) a homogeneous solid solution or (ii) materials with nanoscale heterogeneity to obtain high activity and stability. Here we report on a simple and inexpensive approach to solve this problem taking advantage of the luminescence properties of Eu(III), used as a structural probe introduced either in the bulk or on the surface of the samples. In this way, the real structure of ceria-zirconia materials can be revealed even for amorphous high surface area samples. Formation of small domains is observed in catalytically important metastable samples which appear homogeneous by conventional XRD.

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