Lole, G.; Roddatis, V.; Ross, U.; Risch, M.; Meyer, T.; Rump, L.; Geppert, J.; Wartner, G.; Blöchl, P.; Jooss, Chr.: Dynamic observation of manganese adatom mobility at perovskite oxide catalyst interfaces with water. Communications Materials 1 (2020), p. 68/1-10
Open Accesn Version

Real time in-situ microscopy imaging of surface structure and atom dynamics of heterogeneous catalysts is an important step for understanding reaction mechanisms. Here, using in-situ environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM), we directly visualize surface atom dynamics at manganite perovskite catalyst surfaces for oxygen evolution reaction (OER), which are ≥20 times faster in water than in other ambients. Comparing (001) surfaces of La0.6Sr0.4MnO3 and Pr0.67Ca0.33MnO3 with similar initial manganese valence state and OER activity, but very different OER stability, allows us to distinguish between reversible surface adatom dynamics and irreversible surface defect chemical reactions. We observe enhanced reversible manganese adatom dynamics due to partial solvation in adsorbed water for the highly active and stable La0.6Sr0.4MnO3 system, suggesting that aspects of homogeneous catalysis must be included for understanding the OER mechanism in heterogeneous catalysis.