The research theme concerns the application of new experimental methods for atomic-scale characterization of model catalysts based on insulating metal oxides with the goal of exploring the potential for designing new and efficient heterogeneous catalysts by enhanced control of the catalyst structure at the atomic level. This objective will be achieved by a carefully integrated sequence of synthesis, characterization, and reactivity measurements of model catalysts based on insulating metal oxides. The project aims in detail at resolving some pertinent support synergies and size-effects, which have been revealed in catalytic systems. A core challenge and advance, which sets the project apart from previous research, is the application of high-resolution non contact Atomic Force Microscopy (nc-AFM), which is the only available tool that can resolve the atomic structure of insulator surfaces and the morphology of supported nanoclusters. I will combine my proven experience with atom-resolved imaging using nc-AFM with novel methods for synthesizing and analyzing model catalysts, to provide groundbreaking new atomistic insight. A crucial aspect will be the ability to relate nc-AFM observations to actual catalytic properties, and this will be achieved by using complementary surface spectroscopies and reaction measurements performed at real high pressure conditions. I firmly believe that this research strategy can provide the key insight to a significantly better understanding of the numerous catalytic systems based on insulating metal oxides, and this project will enable me to set up a unique world-class experimental facility for such studies.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/metals
Call for proposal
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