CO oxidation catalyzed by neutral and anionic Cu20 clusters: Relationship between charge and activity

Li Ma, Marko Melander, Kari Laasonen, Jaakko Akola

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Reactions of CO and O2 on neutral and anionic Cu20 clusters have been investigated by spin-polarized density functional theory. Three reaction mechanisms of CO oxidation are explored: reactions with atomic oxygen (dissociated O2) as well as reactions with molecular oxygen, including Langmuir-Hinshelwood (LH) and Eley-Rideal (ER) mechanisms. The adsorption energies, reaction pathways, and reaction barriers for CO oxidation are calculated systematically. The anionic Cu20 - cluster can adsorb CO and O2 more strongly than the neutral counterpart due to the superatomic shell closing of 20 valence electrons which leaves one electron above the band gap. The activation of O2 molecule upon adsorption is crucial to determine the rate of CO oxidation. The CO oxidation proceeds efficiently on both Cu20 and Cu20 - clusters, when O2 is pre-adsorbed dissociatively. The ER mechanism has a lower reaction barrier than the LH mechanism on the neutral Cu20. In general, CO oxidation occurs more readily on the anionic Cu20 - (effective reaction barriers 0.1-0.3 eV) than on the neutral Cu20 cluster (0.3-0.5 eV). Moreover, Cu20 - exhibits enhanced binding for CO2. From the analysis of the reverse direction of CO oxidation, it is observed that the transition of CO2 to CO + O can occur on the Cu20 - cluster, which demonstrates that Cu clusters may serve as good catalyst for CO2 chemistry.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7067-7076
    Number of pages10
    JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2015
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
    • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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