Real-time tracking of three-dimensional atomic dynamics of Pt trimer on TiO2 (110)



Ryo Ishikawa, Toshihiro Futazuka, Yu Jimbo, Kazuaki Kawahara, Naoya Shibata, Yuichi Ikuhara



Single and multi-atoms supported on oxide substrates ultimately increase the efficiency of noble metal atom use, and moreover, catalytic activity and selectivity are also improved substantially. However, single and multi-atoms are unstable under catalytic conditions, and these metal atoms spontaneously aggregate and grow into nanoparticles. Catalytic performance is strongly related to local atomic configurations, and hence, it is essential to determine the three-dimensional (3D) atomic structures of multi-atoms on the substrate and their structural dynamics. Here, we show the real-time tracking of the 3D structural evolution of a Pt trimer on TiO2 (110) substrate at a high temperature, using high-spatiotemporal-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy, where sub-angstrom spatial resolution is maintained, while the temporal resolution reaches 40 milliseconds. With the aid of prior structural knowledge of a Pt trimer for 3D reconstruction, the present method could open the way to characterize in situ atomic-scale structural dynamics, especially meta-stable structural transition.




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