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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News Seminars

Seminar: Prof. Sandra M. Lang "Gas Phase Model Systems for Catalysis"

When:Th 20-10-2022 14:00 - 15:00
Where:5114.0043, Nb4

Catalysis represents the key of our modern chemical industry, is essential to reduce waste and air pollution, and plays an important role for solar energy storage as well as electrochemical energy conversion. To direct the optimization of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts and to develop new tailor-made catalytic materials, a fundamental understanding of the catalytic reactions is indispensable. However, applied catalysts are typically very complex systems often comprising multiple (nano)materials which render a detailed investigation of the catalytic processes on an atomic and molecular level difficult. To nevertheless gain an essential understanding of catalytic processes, we utilize small (sub)nanometer sized metal, metal-oxide, and metal-sulfur clusters as gas phase model systems. An important aspect that supports the feasibility of such very small isolated particles as catalytic model systems is the fact that catalysis is a local effect and thus generally very restricted to an Ångstrom sized atomic area, the so called catalytically active center. These catalytically active centers are typically characterized by unsaturated bonds, like kinks, steps, defects, or very small particles in the sub-nanometer size range and can, thus, be very well modeled by isolated gas phase particles of appropriate shape, size, and charge .

In this seminar, I will give an introduction to gas phase catalysis studies and will present some examples demonstrating the potential of such studies for understanding the catalytically active centers of heterogeneous catalysts, biocatalysts, as well as materials of potential astrochemical relevance.