We present here the synthesis and performance of dual-atom catalysts (DACs), analogous to well-known single-atom catalysts (SACs). DACs feature sites containing pairs of metal atoms and can outperform SACs due to their additional binding possibilities. Yet quantifying the improved catalytic activity in terms of proximity effects remains difficult, as it requires both high-resolution kinetic data and an understanding of the reaction pathways. Here, we use an automated bubble counter setup for comparing the catalytic performance of ceria-supported platinum SACs and DACs in ammonia borane hydrolysis. The catalysts were synthesized by wet impregnation and characterized using SEM, HAADF-STEM, XRD, XPS, and CO-DRIFTS. High-precision kinetic studies of ammonia borane hydrolysis in the presence of SACs show two temperature-dependent regions, with a transition point at 43 °C. Conversely, the DACs show only one regime. We show that this is because DACs preorganize both ammonia borane and water at the dual-atom active site. The additional proximal Pt atom improves the reaction rate 3-fold and enables faster reactions at lower temperatures. We suggest that the DACs enable the activation of the water–O–H bond as well as increase the hydrogen spillover effect due to the adjacent Pt site. Interestingly, using ammonia borane hydrolysis as a benchmark reaction gives further insight into hydrogen spillover mechanisms, above what is known from the CO oxidation studies.

ACS Catal.
Materials & Surface Science for EUV Lithography

Mekkering, M., Laan, P., Troglia, A., Bliem, R., Kizilkaya, A., Rothenberg, G., & Yan, N. (2024). Bottom-Up Synthesis of Platinum Dual-Atom Catalysts on Cerium Oxide. ACS Catal., 14, 9850–9859. doi:10.1021/acscatal.4c01840