Shape Regulation of CeO2 Nanozymes Boosts Reaction Specificity and Activity

Zicong Tan, Ying Wang, Jie Zhang, Zhang Zhang, Samantha Sze Man Wong, Shiqing Zhang*, Hongyan Sun, Ken Kin Lam Yung*, Yung Kang Peng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Among reported nanozymes, CeO2 seems to be the only transition metal oxide that can mimic phosphatase and peroxidase by catalyzing substrate dephosphorylation and oxidation (with H2O2). However, no consensus on the key Ce species was reached in the literature using spherical CeO2 enclosed by (111) and (100) surfaces, not to mention the further control of its reaction specificity. In this study, octahedral and cubic CeO2 preferentially terminated by (111) and (100) surfaces were found to exhibit high reaction specificity (and activity) towards each of the above reactions. Spectroscopic evidence suggests that this is closely associated with the Lewis acidity (or electron density) of surface Ce species. The acidic Ce species on (111) surface can catalyze substrate dephosphorylation at room temperature but do not for substrate oxidation with H2O2. This correlation was further evidenced by the electron-rich Ce species on (100) surface, hindering the first reaction while promoting the latter.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202200202
JournalEuropean Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number20
Early online date9 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ceria
  • Enzyme mimicking
  • Nanozymes
  • Reaction specificity
  • Shape-dependent catalysis


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