Gas phase ion bombardment for the controlled surface modification of heterogeneous catalysts
Ongoing progress in many technological applications requires the engineering of functional solid materials with well-controlled chemical, physical, and morphological characteristics. One promising an innovative method to induce tailored interfaces modification of state-of the-art materials is represented by gas phase ion bombardment.
The object of the this research project is to demonstrate the feasibility of this technique as effective method for the controlled surface modification of aftertreatment catalysts implied in the emissions control from vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines. In particular, incoming automotive emission regulations for Nitrogen oxide (NOx), unburned hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, as well as the development of new combustion systems employing homogeneous type strategies (Homogeneous charge compression ignition HCCI) or Low Temperature Combustion (LTC), require the optimization and the design of oxidation catalysts active at low temperature. The aim of this study is to develop innovative catalysts with improved dispersion of the metallic phase (metal nanoparticles), enhanced stability and resistance to aging, and to obtain a significant reduction of their operating temperature. Moreover the higher efficiency of the catalytic converter will enable the decrement of the noble metal loading and introduce new formulations based on different metals with the reduction of the cost of the after treatment device.