We investigate the phase transition of a Pd surface in both oxidizing and reducing environments by environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM). ETEM allows us to study sequential exposure of Pd to O2 and H2 in the same TEM conditions. First, under ETEM observation, oxidation occurs at step edges but it can also occur at terraces. Second, as the most important result, we observed a novel process where previous exposure to H2 suppresses new oxidation of the Pd surface. Third, we show by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) that this process, suppression of oxidation by previous exposure to H2, is not due to the formation of bulk β-phase Pd hydride. We also demonstrate that this process is not present in Pt. Finally, we discuss the hypothesis to explain this phenomenon: formation of surface-Pd-hydride suppresses the new oxidation. This observation, suppression of oxidation by H2 exposure, may eventually lead to new breakthroughs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)