Sintering-induced aggregation of active metals is a major cause of catalyst deactivation. Catalysts that can operate above 800°C are rare. Here, we report an unusual noble metal catalyst with sintering-induced activation at temperatures up to 1,000°C. The catalyst consists of atomically dispersed palladium embedded in a reducible SnO2 support designated for lean methane combustion. High temperature reaction simultaneously causes favorable changes of palladium ensemble state combining synergistically with lattice oxygen activation. Such changes lead to at least one order of magnitude improvement of the intrinsic reactivity, which compensates the surface area loss. Extensive characterizations such as atom probe tomography, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and isotope tracking together with theoretical calculations illustrate the structure and surface chemistry changes and their impacts on the reaction mechanism. The catalyst also shows notable long-term stability and facile regeneration after poisoning. Our work may provide new insights into designing active and thermally stable catalysts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Materials Science(all)