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Issue 5, 2015
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Visualizing electronic interactions between iron and carbon by X-ray chemical imaging and spectroscopy

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Abstract

The electronic interaction of a catalyst and its support is of vital importance to its catalytic performance. However, it is still a great challenge to directly probe the interaction due to the lack of well-defined models and efficient technical means. In this study, we report that pod-like carbon nanotubes with encapsulated iron particles (Pod-Fe) and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) can be used as an ideal model and technique to study the electronic interaction between carbon shells and iron particles. The chemical imaging and spectroscopy of Pod-Fe by STXM show that the local electronic structures at C K-edge near edge (π*) of carbon shells can be significantly modified by the encapsulated iron particles, which promotes the adsorption of oxygen-containing species, and thereby further modifies the electronic structure (π* and σ*) of the carbon shells. Moreover, computed X-ray absorption near edge structure spectra (XANES) confirmed the electronic modifications of carbon shells by the encapsulated iron particles. The present study provides a direct evidence of electronic interactions with simultaneously collected images and spectra, which can promote the understanding towards the nature of active sites and supports.

Graphical abstract: Visualizing electronic interactions between iron and carbon by X-ray chemical imaging and spectroscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jan 2015, accepted on 26 Mar 2015 and first published on 26 Mar 2015


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC00353A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2015,6, 3262-3267
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Visualizing electronic interactions between iron and carbon by X-ray chemical imaging and spectroscopy

    X. Chen, J. Xiao, J. Wang, D. Deng, Y. Hu, J. Zhou, L. Yu, T. Heine, X. Pan and X. Bao, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 3262
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SC00353A

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