CO vibrational spectra over catalytic nanoparticles under high coverages/pressures are discussed from a DFT perspective. Hybrid B3LYP and PBE DFT calculations of CO chemisorbed over Pd4 and Pd13 nanoclusters, and a 1.1 nm Pd38 nanoparticle, have been performed in order to simulate the corresponding coverage dependent infrared (IR) absorption spectra, and hence provide a quantitative foundation for the interpretation of experimental IR spectra of CO over Pd nanocatalysts. B3LYP simulated IR intensities are used to quantify site occupation numbers through comparison with experimental DRIFTS spectra, allowing an atomistic model of CO surface coverage to be created. DFT adsorption energetics for low CO coverage (θ → 0) suggest the CO binding strength follows the order hollow > bridge > linear, even for dispersion-corrected functionals for sub-nanometre Pd nanoclusters. For a Pd38 nanoparticle, hollow and bridge-bound are energetically similar (hollow ≈ bridge > atop). It is well known that this ordering has not been found at the high coverages used experimentally, wherein atop CO has a much higher population than observed over Pd(111), confirmed by our DRIFTS spectra for Pd nanoparticles supported on a KIT-6 silica, and hence site populations were calculated through a comparison of DFT and spectroscopic data. At high CO coverage (θ = 1), all three adsorbed CO species co-exist on Pd38, and their interdiffusion is thermally feasible at STP. Under such high surface coverages, DFT predicts that bridge-bound CO chains are thermodynamically stable and isoenergetic to an entirely hollow bound Pd/CO system. The Pd38 nanoparticle undergoes a linear (3.5%), isotropic expansion with increasing CO coverage, accompanied by 63 and 30 cm− 1 blue-shifts of hollow and linear bound CO respectively.
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- carbon monoxide
- density functional theory
- IR spectroscopy