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Education and Outreach Programs

Bolingbrook High School ESRP 2019

Local Structural Studies of Pd Based Catalytic Nanoparticles


  • Students:
    • Amanda Crisp
    • Matthew Eberle
    • Mitchell Frey
    • Bryson Rivers
    • Zihao Xu
    • Annabeth Yeung
  • Teachers:
    • Lois Emde
  • Mentors:
    • John Katsoudas (Argonne National Laboratory, Sector 10-BM)
    • Carlo Segre (Argonne National Laboratory, Sector 10-BM)
    • Elena Timofeeva (Illinois Institute of Technology)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 10: MR-CAT

The purpose of this experiment will focus on the study of the atomic organization of nanoparticles of palladium, palladium/copper, palladium/cobalt, and palladium/nickel. The nanoparticles’ structure are studied using extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS). X-ray absorptions spectroscopy measurements are performed on both edges of the nanoparticles. This allows us to determine the arrangement of the metals within the nanoparticle. Due to their reduction in size and increase in surface area, bi-metallic nanoparticles (BNPs) are prominently used as catalysts. BNPs have proven to be the best performing catalysts for fuel cell oxidation processes. One of the major problems in understanding how these nanoparticles function is to have a clear picture of their structure. X-ray absorption spectroscopy provides local structural information, which can be used to distinguish core-shell atomic distributions from uniformly alloyed distributions. This kind of structural understanding, combined with the catalytic properties, can help design better catalysts for the future.

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