ChBE Seminar: Fabrication of Nano-Structured Catalyst Supports by ALD
Speaker: Raymond John Gorte, Professor, ChBE & Materials Science and Engineering
University of Pennsylvania
Title: Fabrication of Nano-Structured Catalyst Supports by ALD
Interactions between a transition-metal catalyst and its support can strongly alter the stability and activity of the catalyst. Important examples include support effects with ceria and the so-called “Intelligent Catalysts” in which the metal can be redispersed by reversible ex-solution from a perovskite lattice. However, the surface areas of these functional supports are often too low or unstable; and, in the case of perovskites, the length scales for metal ingress and egress may be too long to take advantage of the effect. We are addressing these issues by depositing very thin films of various functional oxides, ~0.5 to 1 nm thick, onto high-surface-area supports, including Al2O3 and MgAl2O4, by Atomic Layer Deposition. We have demonstrated that a wide range of oxides, including mixed oxides with the perovskite structure, can be deposited as dense, uniform films on various supports. The films exhibit surprisingly good thermal stability and provide catalytic properties similar to that observed with bulk oxides, but with higher surface areas. The thin-film catalysts also simplify structural and thermodynamic characterization of the catalyst-support interactions.
Raymond J. Gorte joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 after receiving his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is currently the Russell Pearce and Elizabeth Crimian Heuer Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, with a secondary appointment in Materials Science & Engineering. He has received the 1997 Parravano Award of the Michigan Catalysis Society, the 1998 Philadelphia Catalysis Club Award, the 1999 Paul Emmett Award of the North American Catalysis Society, and the 2009 AIChE Wilhelm Award. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018. He has served as Chairman of the Gordon Conference on Catalysis (1998) and Program Chairman of the 12th International Zeolite Conference (1998) and was an Associate Editor of the Journal of the Electrochemical Society. His present research interests are focused on electrodes for solid-oxide fuel cells, catalyst synthesis by ALD, and catalysts for biomass upgrading.