Oxygen Vacancy Chemistry in Ceria
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Cerium(IV) oxide (CeO2), ceria, is an active metal oxide used in solid oxide fuel cells and for the purification of exhaust gases in vehicle emissions control. Behind these technically important applications of ceria lies one overriding feature, namely ceria's exceptional reduction-oxidation properties. These are enabled by the duality of the cerium ion which easily toggles between Ce4+ and Ce3+. Here the cerium 4f electrons and oxygen vacancies (missing oxygen ions in the structure) are key players. In this thesis, the nature of ceria's f electrons and oxygen vacancies are in focus, and examined with theoretical calculations.
It is shown that for single oxygen vacancies at ceria surfaces, the intimate coupling between geometrical structure and electron localisation gives a multitude of almost degenerate local energy mimima. With many vacancies, the situation becomes even more complex, and not even state-of-the-art quantum-mechanical calculations manage to predict the experimentally observed phenomenon of vacancy clustering. Instead, an alternative set of computer experiments managed to produce stable vacancy chains and trimers consistent with experimental findings from the literature and revealed a new general principle for surface vacancy clustering.
The rich surface chemistry of ceria involves not only oxygen vacancies but also other active oxygen species such as superoxide ions (O2−). Experiments have shown that nanocrystalline ceria demonstrates an unusually large oxygen storage capacity (OSC) and an appreciable low-temperature redox activity, which have been ascribed to superoxide species. A mechanism explaining these phenomena is presented.
The ceria surface is also known to interact with SOx molecules, which is relevant both in the context of sulfur poisoning of ceria-based catalysts and sulfur recovery from them. In this thesis, the sulfur species and key mechanisms involved are identified.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2012. , 59 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 896
Ceria, Density Functional Theory, Oxygen storage, Nano crystals, Sulfur poisoning
Research subject Chemistry with specialization in Inorganic Chemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-167521ISBN: 978-91-554-8271-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-167521DiVA: diva2:491677
2012-03-16, Å2001, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Alex, Shluger, Proffessor
Hermansson, Kersti, Proffessor
List of papers