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Ceria-Based Catalysts Studied By Near Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy: A Review

Xènia Garcia, Lluís Soler, Núria J. Divins, Xavier Vendrell, Isabel Serrano, Ilaria Lucentini, Jordi Prat, Eduardo Solano, Massimo Tallarida, Carlos Escudero, Jordi Llorca

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The development of better catalysts is a passionate topic at the forefront of modern science, where operando techniques are necessary to identify the nature of the active sites. The surface of a solid catalyst is dynamic and dependent on the reaction environment and, therefore, the catalytic active sites may only be formed under specific reaction conditions and may not be stable either in air or under high vacuum conditions. The identification of the active sites and the understanding of their behaviour are essential information towards a rational catalyst design. One of the most powerful operando techniques for the study of active sites is near ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (NAP-XPS), which is particularly sensitive to the surface and sub-surface of solids. Here we review the use of NAP-XPS for the study of ceria-based catalysts, widely used in a large number of industrial processes due to their excellent oxygen storage capacity and well-established redox properties.