Boron Nitride‐supported Sub‐nanometer Pd6 Clusters for Formic Acid Decomposition: A DFT Study

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A periodic, self-consistent planewave DFT study was carried out to explore the potential use of Pd6 clusters supported on a boron nitride sheet as a catalyst for the selective decomposi- tion of formic acid (HCOOH) to CO2 and H2. The competition between formate (HCOO) and carboxyl (COOH) paths on cata- lytic sites, with different proximities to the support, was stud- ied. Based on energetics alone, the reaction may mainly follow the HCOO route. Slightly lower activation energies were found at the lateral sites of the cluster as compared to top face sites. This is particularly true for the bidentate to monodentate HCOO conversion. Through comparison of results with similar studies on HCOOH decomposition on extended Pd surfaces, it was demonstrated that the existence of undercoordinated sites in the sub-nanometer cluster could play a key role in pref- erentially stabilizing HCOO over COOH, which is a common CO precursor in this reaction. A hydrogen spillover mechanism was also investigated; migration toward the boron nitride sup- port is not favorable, at least in the early stages of the reac- tion. However, hydrogen diffusion on the cluster has low barri- ers compared to those involved in formic acid decomposition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1610-1620
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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