Catalytic Activity of AuCu Clusters on MgO(100): Effect of Alloy Composition for CO Oxidation

Li Ma, Kari Laasonen, Jaakko Akola*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Density functional simulations have been performed for Au7Cu23 and Au23Cu7 clusters on MgO(100) supports to probe their catalytic activity for CO oxidation. The adsorption of reactants, O2 and CO, and potential O2 dissociation have been investigated in detail by tuning the location of vacancies (F-center, V-center) in MgO(100). The total charge on Au7Cu23 and Au23Cu7 is negative on all supports, regardless of the presence of vacancies, but the effect is significantly amplified on the F-center. Au7Cu23/MgO(100) and Au23Cu7/MgO(100) with an F-center are the only systems to bind O2 more strongly than CO. In each case, O2 can be effectively activated upon adsorption and dissociated to 2 × O atoms. The different reaction paths based on the Langmuir-Hinshelwood (LH) and Eley-Rideal (ER) mechanisms for CO oxidation have been explored on the Au7Cu23 and Au23Cu7 clusters on F-centers, and the results are compared with the previous findings for Au15Cu15. Overall, the reaction barriers are small, but the changes in the Au:Cu ratio tune the reactant adsorption energies and sites considerably, showing also varying selectivity for CO and O2. The microkinetic model built on the basis of the above results shows a pronounced CO2 production rate at low temperature for the clusters on F-centers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10876-10886
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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