Employing rationally designed model systems with precise atom-by-atom particle size control, we demonstrate by means of combining noninvasive in situ indirect nanoplasmonic sensing and ex situ scanning transmission electron microscopy that monomodal size-selected platinum cluster catalysts on different supports exhibit remarkable intrinsic sintering resistance even under reaction conditions. The observed stability is related to suppression of Ostwald ripening by elimination of its main driving force via size-selection. This study thus constitutes a general blueprint for the rational design of sintering resistant catalyst systems and for efficient experimental strategies to determine sintering mechanisms. Moreover, this is the first systematic experimental investigation of sintering processes in nanoparticle systems with an initially perfectly monomodal size distribution under ambient conditions.
Nano Letters, 2014, Vol 14, Issue 10, p. 5803-5809