We have used density functional theory calculations within the LDA+U formulation to investigate how small amounts of dissolved SiO2, GeO2, SnO2, or PbO2 affect the redox thermodynamics of ceria (CeO2). Compared to pure ceria, reduction is facilitated and the reducibility increases in the sequence of CeO2-SnO2, CeO2-GeO2, and CeO2-SiO2, which correlates with the decrease of the ionic radii of the solutes. For low solute concentrations, there is an inverse relation between high reducibility and the solution energy of tetravalent solutes. CeO2-PbO2 is unique in the sense that the initial reduction occurs by Pb(IV)double right arrow Pb(II) instead of the usual Ce(IV)double right arrow Ce(III) reaction. Among the investigated ceria compounds, CeO2-PbO2 has the lowest reduction energy and rather low solution energy. We have studied how the solution and reduction energies depend on the concentration of Si, Ge, Sn, Pb, Ti, Zr, Hf, and Th solute ions. While the solution energy increases monotonously with concentration, the reduction energy first decreases, as compared to pure ceria (except for Th, which exhibits a small increase), and with further increase of solute concentration, it either remains almost constant (Zr, Hf, and Th) or slightly increases (Ti, Si, Ge, and Sn).
2007. Vol. 76, no 17, 174119- p.