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Direct Imaging And Identification Of Individual Dopant Atoms In MoS2 And WS2 Catalysts By Aberration Corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

F. L. Deepak, R. Esparza, B. Borges, Xóchitl López-Lozano, M. Jose-yacaman
Published 2011 · Chemistry

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In the case of the hydrodesulfurization (HDS) processes one of the best catalysts currently available is that based on MoS2 and WS2. A very significant increase in their activity can be achieved by adding Co or Ni as a promoter. In the present report we have used probe aberration corrected STEM (scanning transmission electron microscopy) for the first time to characterize Co doped MoS2/WS2 nanowire catalysts (supported on Al2O3 substrates). The high-resolution imaging reveals clearly the location of Co in the individual catalysts. This has not been possible to date with other experimental techniques because of the insufficient image contrast and/or resolution. On the basis of the HAADF-STEM images, we built two models for the Co−Mo−S and Co−W−S catalysts to illustrate the different morphologies found in the catalysts. With this study it is now possible to better locate, identify, and understand the role of promoters in the design and functioning of catalysts.
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