Chemistry at speed

Palladium-nickel nanoalloy catalysts have tunable parameters, such as particle size and atomic composition, that affect critical atomic-scale structural features and specifically the rate at which they can catalyze the oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, according to researchers in China and the USA. "Key to understanding the structural-catalytic synergy is the use of high-energy synchrotron X-ray diffraction coupled to atomic pair distribution function (HE-XRD/PDF) analysis to probe the atomic structure of PdNi nanoalloys under controlled thermochemical treatments and CO reaction conditions," the team reports in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, JACS. Moreover, the new insights the team gained into the structural synergy of nanoalloy catalysts and how activity might be controlled through phase state, composition and atomic structure, complements density functional theory (DFT) studies, they add.