Understanding the structure of nanocatalysts with high resolution scanning/transmission electron microscopy

L. D. Francis, J. Rivas, M. José-Yacamán

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Nanomaterials including nanoparticles, nanowires and nanotubes play an important role in heterogeneous catalysis. Thanks to the rapid improvement of the electron microscopic techniques and with the advent of aberration corrected electron microscopy as well as theoretical methodologies, the potential effects induced by nanocatalysts are better understood than before by unravelling their atomic structure. A brief introduction to advanced electron microscopic techniques namely aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (Cs-STEM) is presented and subsequently two examples of nanocatalysts are considered in the present review. The first example will focus on the study of bimetallic/core-shell nanoalloys. In heterogeneous catalysis, catalysts containing two or more metals might show significantly different catalytic properties compared to the parent metals and thus are widely utilized in several catalytic reactions. Atom-by-atom insights of the nanoalloy based catalysts ex: Au-Pd will be described in the present review using a combination of advanced electron microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. A related example on the understanding of bimetallic clusters by HAADF-STEM will also be presented in addition to nanoparticles. In the second case understanding the structure of transition metal chalcogenide based nanocatalysts by HRTEM and aberration corrected STEM, for the case of MoS2 will be discussed. MoS 2-based catalysts serve as model catalysts and are employed in the hydrodesulphurisations (HDS) reactions in the removal of sulphur from gasoline and related petrochemical products. They have been studied in various forms including nanowires, nanotubes and nanoplates. Their structure, atomic insights and as a consequence elucidation of their corresponding catalytic activity are thus important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012005
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event13th European Workshop of the European Microbeam Analysis Society on Modern Developments and Applications in Microbeam Analysis, EMAS 2013 - Porto, Portugal
Duration: May 12 2013May 16 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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