Catalysis is the acceleration of a chemical reaction by a substance called a catalyst. Most of the world’s energy and consumer products are produced through reactions requiring catalysts. However, the atomic processes of catalysis are not well understood. Studying catalysts with surfaces that are well-defined at the atomic (nanoscale) level can aid in simplifying the analysis of catalytically relevant atomic processes. The purpose of this project is to characterize the surfaces of well-defined ceria-based catalysts, with the aim of better understanding their catalytic properties. As U.S. citizens are high consumers of energy, studying the catalytic properties of nanomaterials can aid us in establishing a sustainable future. A better understanding of catalytic processes could lead to materials that produce enough energy to meet global demands.