The dynamic behavior and kinetics of the structural transformation of supported bimetallic nanoparticle catalysts with synergistic functions in the oxidation process are fundamental issues to understand their unique catalytic properties as well as to regulate the catalytic capability of alloy nanoparticles. The phase separation and structural transformation of Pt3Sn/C and PtSn/C catalysts during the oxidation process were characterized by in situ time-resolved energy-dispersive XAFS (DXAFS) and quick XAFS (QXAFS) techniques, which are element-selective spectroscopies, at the Pt LIII-edge and the Sn K-edge. The time-resolved XAFS techniques provided the kinetics of the change in structures and oxidation states of the bimetallic nanoparticles on carbon surfaces. The kinetic parameters and mechanisms for the oxidation of the Pt3Sn/C and PtSn/C catalysts were determined by time-resolved XAFS techniques. The oxidation of Pt to PtO in Pt3Sn/C proceeded via two successive processes, while the oxidation of Sn to SnO2 in Pt3Sn/C proceeded as a one step process. The rate constant for the fast Pt oxidation, which was completed in 3 s at 573 K, was the same as that for the Sn oxidation, and the following slow Pt oxidation rate was one fifth of that for the first Pt oxidation process. The rate constant and activation energy for the Sn oxidation in PtSn/C were similar to those for the Sn oxidation in Pt3Sn/C. In the PtSn/C, however, it was hard for Pt oxidation to PtO to proceed at 573 K, where Pt oxidation was strongly affected by the quantity of Sn in the alloy nanoparticles due to swift segregation of SnO2 nanoparticles/layers on the Pt nanoparticles. The mechanisms for the phase separation and structure transformation in the Pt3Sn/C and PtSn/C catalysts are also discussed on the basis of the structural kinetics of the catalysts themselves determined by the in situ time-resolved DXAFS and QXAFS.
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