Surface Catalysis

Our research interests are in the area of Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, especially vibrational spectroscopic studies on solid surfaces ranging from well-defined model systems to nanostructured materials in a wide pressure range from UHV to ambient conditions. The principal techniques are high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS) and a sophisticated UHV infrared spectroscopy (UHV-FTIRS) apparatus. The innovative design of UHV-FTIRS not only allows us to record polarization-dependent IRRAS data at grazing incidence on model catalysts, but also enables transmission IR experiments on nanomaterials. In particular, this apparatus collects high-quality IR data with extremely high sensitivity and stability, which are essential for probing molecular species adsorbed on oxide single-crystal surfaces. In addition, our research is complemented by other surface science techniques including thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS), low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) and high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HRXPS). The aim of our research is to gain atomic-level insights into the structural, electronic and reactive properties of oxide and metal/oxide systems as well as metal-organic frameworks. The main focus lies in the following topics:


  •  Structure and catalytic activity of metal oxide surfaces
  •  Metal particles/clusters supported on oxide surfaces
  •  Photochemical properties of metal oxides
  •  IR spectroscopic studies on defect-engineered metal-organic frameworks



IR spectroscopic investigations of chemical and photochemical reactions on metal oxides (CeO2,TiO2, ZnO): bridging the materials gap, Chem. Soc. Rev. 47, 1875-1932 (2017).




Surface faceting and reconstruction of ceria nanoparticles, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 56, 375–379 (2017) 





Structure and reactivity of defect-engineered MOFs, Chem. Eur. J. 22, 14297-14307 (2016); Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 7058-7062 (2014); J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 9627-9636 (2014)