The effect of the treatment of the 5 wt % Cu/SiO 2 (I) and (5 wt % Cu + 0.5 wt % Ce)/SiO 2 (II) catalysts with glow discharge plasma in O 2, H 2, and Ar on their structural characteristics was studied by X-ray phase analysis; the influence of cerium additions and plasmochemical treatments on the catalyst activity in isopropanol dehydrogenation was also investigated. Under the plasmochemical treatment, the diameters of Cu particles in catalyst I nearly doubled and microstresses in the metal particles also changed. Catalyst II was X-ray amorphous both before and after plasmochemical treatments. The activity of I after plasmochemical treatment increased because of the increase in the number of centers and changes in their composition. Growth of the activity of I compared with the activity of II was explained by the formation of new catalytic centers due to positive charging of the C +α e adatom on the surface of the copper particle. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2012.