Nat Commun. 2023 May 2;14(1):2512. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38307-w.
Hemilability is an important concept in homogeneous catalysis where both the reactant activation and the product formation can occur simultaneously through a reversible opening and closing of the metal-ligand coordination sphere. However, this effect has rarely been discussed in heterogeneous catalysis. Here, by employing a theoretical study on CO oxidation over substituted Cu1/CeO2 single atom catalysts, we show that dynamic evolution of metal-support coordination can significantly change the electronic structure of the active center. The evolution of the active center is shown to either strengthen or weaken the metal-adsorbate bonding as the reaction proceeds from reactants, through intermediates, to products. As a result, the activity of the catalyst can be increased. We explain our observations by extending hemilability effects to single atom heterogenous catalysts and anticipate that introducing this concept can offer a new insight into the important role active site dynamics have in catalysis toward the rational design of more sophisticated single atom catalyst materials.
PMID:37130833 | PMC:PMC10154346 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-38307-w