Rapid plasma exsolution from an A-site deficient perovskite oxide at room temperature

Khalid, Hessan and Haq, Atta ul and Alessi, Bruno and Wu, Ji and Savaniu, Cristian D. and Kousi, Kalliopi and Metcalfe, Ian S. and Parker, Stephen C. and Irvine, John T. S. and Maguire, Paul and Papaioannou, Evangelos I. and Mariotti, Davide (2022) Rapid plasma exsolution from an A-site deficient perovskite oxide at room temperature. Advanced Energy Materials, 12 (45). 2201131. ISSN 1614-6832 (https://doi.org/10.1002/aenm.202201131)

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High-performance nanoparticle platforms can drive catalysis progress to new horizons, delivering environmental and energy targets. Nanoparticle exsolution offers unprecedented opportunities that are limited by current demanding process conditions. Unraveling new exsolution pathways, particularly at low-temperatures, represents an important milestone that will enable improved sustainable synthetic route, more control of catalysis microstructure as well as new application opportunities. Herein it is demonstrated that plasma direct exsolution at room temperature represents just such a step change in the synthesis. Moreover, the factors that most affect the exsolution process are identified. It is shown that the surface defects produced initiate exsolution under a brief ion bombardment of an argon low-pressure and low-temperature plasma. This results in controlled nanoparticles with diameters ≈19–22 nm with very high number densities thus creating a highly active catalytic material for CO oxidation which rivals traditionally created exsolved samples.