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  1. Abstract

    Controlling the structure of catalysts at the atomic level provides an opportunity to establish detailed understanding of the catalytic form-to-function and realize new, non-equilibrium catalytic structures. Here, advanced thin-film deposition is used to control the atomic structure of La2/3Sr1/3MnO3, a well-known catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction. The surface and sub-surface is customized, whereas the overall composition andd-electron configuration of the oxide is kept constant. Although the addition of SrMnO3benefits the oxygen reduction reaction via electronic structure and conductivity improvements, SrMnO3can react with ambient air to reduce the surface site availability. Placing SrMnO3in the sub-surface underneath a LaMnO3overlayer allows the catalyst to maintain the surface site availability while benefiting from improved electronic effects. The results show the promise of advanced thin-film deposition for realizing atomically precise catalysts, in which the surface and sub-surface structure and stoichiometry are tailored for functionality, over controlling only bulk compositions.