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Comparison of atomic scale dynamics for the middle and late transition metal nanocatalysts

Cao, Kecheng; Zoberbier, Thilo; Biskupek, Johannes; Botos, Akos; McSweeney, Robert L.; Kurtoglu, Abdullah; Stoppiello, Craig T.; Markevich, Alexander V.; Besley, Elena; Chamberlain, Thomas W.; Kaiser, Ute; Khlobystov, Andrei N.


Kecheng Cao

Thilo Zoberbier

Johannes Biskupek

Akos Botos

Robert L. McSweeney

Abdullah Kurtoglu

Craig T. Stoppiello

Alexander V. Markevich

Thomas W. Chamberlain

Ute Kaiser


Catalysis of chemical reactions by nanosized clusters of transition metals holds the key to the provision of sustainable energy and materials. However, the atomistic behaviour of nanocatalysts still remains largely unknown due to uncertainties associated with the highly labile metal nanoclusters changing their structure during the reaction. In this study, we reveal and explore reactions of nm-sized clusters of technologically important metals in carbon nano test tubes using time-series imaging by atomically-resolved transmission electron microscopy (TEM), employing the electron beam simultaneously as an imaging tool and stimulus of the reactions. Defect formation in nanotubes and growth of new structures promoted by metal nanoclusters enable the ranking of the different metals both in order of their bonding with carbon and their catalytic activity, showing significant variation across the Periodic Table of Elements. Metal nanoclusters exhibit complex dynamics shedding light on atomistic workings of nanocatalysts, with key features mirroring heterogeneous catalysis.


Cao, K., Zoberbier, T., Biskupek, J., Botos, A., McSweeney, R. L., Kurtoglu, A., …Khlobystov, A. N. (2018). Comparison of atomic scale dynamics for the middle and late transition metal nanocatalysts. Nature Communications, 9, 1-10.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 27, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 23, 2018
Publication Date Aug 23, 2018
Deposit Date Aug 7, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 24, 2018
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 3382
Pages 1-10
Public URL
Publisher URL


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