Noble metals can promote the direct participation of lattice oxygen of very stable oxide materials such as aluminum oxide, to oxidize reactant molecules, while the fundamental mechanism of noble metal catalysis is elusive. Here we report that a single atom of rhodium, a powerful noble metal catalyst, can promote the transfer of five oxygen atoms to oxidize carbon monoxide from a nine-atom rhodium-aluminum oxide cluster. This is a sharp improvement in the field of cluster science where the transfer of at most two oxygen atoms from a doped cluster is more commonly observed. Rhodium functions not only as the preferred trapping site to anchor and oxidize carbon monoxide by the oxygen atoms in direct connection with rhodium but also the primarily oxidative centre to accumulate the large amounts of electrons and the polarity of rhodium is ultimately transformed from positive to negative.
1.Chinese Acad Sci, Beijing Natl Lab Mol Sci, Inst Chem, State Key Lab Struct Chem Unstable & Stable Speci, Zhongguancun North First St 2, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China 2.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China