Aligning time-resolved kinetics (TAP) and surface spectroscopy (AP-XPS) for a more comprehensive understanding of ALD-derived 2D and 3D model catalysts†
The spectro-kinetic characterization of complex catalytic materials, i.e. relating the observed reaction kinetics to spectroscopic descriptors of the catalyst state, presents a fundamental challenge with a potentially significant impact on various chemical technologies. We propose to reconcile the kinetic characteristics available from temporal analysis of products (TAP) pulse-response kinetic experiments with the spectroscopic data available from ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AP-XPS), using atomic layer deposition (ALD) to synthesize multicomponent model surfaces on 2D and 3D supports. The accumulated surface exposure to a key reactant (total number of collisions) is used as a common scale within which the results from the two techniques can be rigorously compared for microscopically-equivalent surfaces. This approach is illustrated by proof-of-principle TAP and AP-XPS experiments with PtIn/MgO/SiO2 catalysts for alkane dehydrogenation at 800 K. Similarly to industrially-relevant Pt-based bimetallic catalysts on high-surface area supports, the initial period of coke accumulation on the surface resulted in gradually decreased conversion and increased selectivity towards propylene. We were able to monitor the process of coke deposition with both AP-XPS and TAP. The evolution of the C 1s photoelectron spectra is aligned on the common exposure scale with the evolution of the coke amounts deposited per Pt site during a multi-pulse TAP experiment. Moreover, TAP provided quantitative kinetic descriptors of propane consumption and product mean residence time within this common exposure scale. The challenges and opportunities presented by this novel tandem methodology are discussed in the context of catalysis research.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Photoelectron spectroscopy and the future of surface analysis