The exsolution of Cu particles from doped barium cerate zirconate via barium cuprate intermediate phases

Mei Wang, Evangelos Papaioannou, Ian Metcalfe, Aaron B. Naden, Cristian D. Savaniu, John T. S. Irvine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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As a low-cost alternative to noble metals, Cu plays an important role in industrial catalysis, such as water-gas shift reaction, methanol or ethanol oxidation, hydrogenation of oils, CO oxidation, among many others. An important step in optimizing Cu catalyst performance is control of nanoparticles size, distribution, and the interface with the support. While proton conducting perovskites can enhance the metal catalytic activity when acting as the support, there has been limited investigation of in situ growth of Cu metal nanoparticles from the proton conductors and its catalytic performance. Here, Cu nanoparticles are tracked exsolved from an A-site-deficient proton-conducting barium cerate-zirconate using scanning electron microscopy, revealing a continuous phase change during exsolution as a function of reduction temperature. Combined with the phase diagram and cell parameter change during reduction, a new exsolution mechanism is proposed for the first time which provides insight into tailoring metal particles interfaces at proton conducting oxide surfaces. Furthermore, the catalytic behavior in the CO oxidation reaction is explored and, it is observed that these new nanostructures can rival state of the art catalysts over long term operation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2302102
Number of pages12
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number27
Early online date25 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2023


  • CO oxidation
  • Eutectic
  • Exsolution
  • Nanoparticles
  • Phase diagrams
  • Proton conductors


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