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Catalytic oxidation of methanol to formaldehyde by mass-selected vanadium oxide clusters supported on a TiO2(110) surface

  • Author(s): Price, SP
  • Tong, X
  • Ridge, C
  • Neilson, HL
  • Buffon, JW
  • Robins, J
  • Metiu, H
  • Bowers, MT
  • Buratto, SK
  • et al.

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© 2014 American Chemical Society. We report the results of a systematic study of the catalytic activity of massselected vanadium oxide clusters deposited on rutile TiO2surfaces under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions. Our results show that supported V, VO, and VO2clusters are not catalytically active for the oxidative dehydrogenation of methanol to formaldehyde but can be made catalytically active by postoxidation. In addition, we found that the postoxidized VO/TiO2produces the most formaldehyde. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging of the postoxidized VO/TiO2reveals isolated clusters with height and width indicative of VO3bound to the TiO2surface. Our results are consistent with previous density functional theory (DFT) calculations that predict that VO3will be produced by postoxidation of VO and that VO3/TiO2is an active catalyst.

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