In situ studies of NO reduction by H2 over Pt using surface X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy†
In situ surface X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy at 1 bar show massive material transport of platinum during high-temperature NO reduction with H2. A Pt(110) single-crystal surface shows a wide variety of surface reconstructions and extensive faceting of the surface. Pt nanoparticles change their morphology depending on the gas composition: They are faceted in hydrogen-rich environments, but are more spherical in NO-rich environments, indicating the formation of vicinal surfaces. We conclude that high coverage of NO combined with sufficient mobility of platinum surface atoms is the driving force for the formation of steps on both flat surfaces and nanoparticles. Since the steps that are introduced provide strongly coordinating adsorption sites with potential catalytic benefits, this may be of direct practical relevance for the performance of catalytic nanoparticles under high-pressure conditions.