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Supported Nanoparticles for Catalysis: Genesis and Dynamics in the Liquid Phase

Objective

Supported metal nanoparticles are used as catalysts to accelerate and steer chemical conversions to produce, e.g., transportation fuels, chemicals and medicines. Albeit of eminent importance, supported metal catalysts are almost exclusively synthesized in liquid-phase processes that are often considered ‘an art rather than a science’. Although recent results from our laboratory and others on the fundamentals of catalysts synthesis have led to many new insights, the lack of methodology to investigate directly the formation of supported nanoparticles in the liquid phase hampers progress.
The key objective of this proposal is to image and thereby obtain a detailed understanding of both the genesis (synthesis) and the dynamics (catalysis) of supported metal nanoparticles in the liquid phase with nanometer resolution and in real time. To this end we will combine two recent developments: (1) a liquid-phase in situ cell for use in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) with (2) the element specificity of a Chemi-STEM that provides element specific images with nanometer resolution.. In this way we will image in the liquid phase the nucleation and growth of nanoparticles on a support. As support we plan to use materials with ordered porosity that allow imaging of genesis of nanoparticles in liquid confined in nanopores. The key objective of this proposal will be addressed in four projects (1) acquisition and implementation of a liquid-phase cell within a Chemi-STEM which is then used to study (2) ion adsorption of noble metal complexes onto silica and zeolites followed by liquid-phase reduction to form metallic nanoparticles, (3) crystallization of metal nitrates in nanopores of silica and carbon, (4) dynamics of palladium nanoparticles in liquid-phase catalysis.
The new insights will move catalysts synthesis ‘from art to science’ and provide control over the properties of supported nanoparticles to arrive at novel catalysts for sustainable processes.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 500 000
Principal investigator
Krijn Pieter De Jong (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Herminia Erasmo (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 2 500 000
Address
Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Krijn Pieter De Jong (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Herminia Erasmo (Ms.)