Catalysis and operando spectroscopy
The ´Catalysis and operando spectroscopy´ department which is located both at IKFT and the Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymerchemistry (ITCP) applies synchrotron based X-ray absorption spectroscopy and complementary techniques to analyze structural properties of catalysts and their catalytic performance. Structure-activity relationships obtained in this way play a key role in the development and optimization of catalytically active materials. Important application areas are fine chemistry, materials for renewable energy technologies, biomass conversion and emission control.
Many catalysts change under reaction conditions. Dynamic structural changes occur within subsecond time intervals (e. g. milliseconds during the ignition of a reaction), minutes, hours (e. g. activation) or days (deactivation). To identify the structure of active sites under working conditions and analyze their dynamic behavior, catalysts and catalytic processes are investigated under reaction conditions also denoted “in situ” or “operando”. A number of sample cells and test setups have been specially designed e. g. for high temperature, high pressure, gas and liquid phase reactions.
The in situ experiments are equipped with gas and liquid dosing systems and a mass spectrometer, FTIR, or micro_GC for on-line analysis of reaction products. Combined set-ups for complementary techniques (e.g. XAS-XRD, XAS-DRIFTS) simultaneously provide information about the crystalline and X-ray amorphous structure and surface species. Special focus is further laid on time resolved and spatially resolved studies using microscopic and tomographic techniques.
Group members perform X-ray absorption spectroscopic and X-ray microscopic experiments at KIT Light Source (CATACT beamline), PETRA III at DESY, SLS, SOLEIL, ESRF and other synchrotron radiation sources. The CATACT beamline dedicated to catalysis research and operated by IKFT in close collaboration with Institute for Beam Physics and Technology (IBPT) and the Institute for Nuclear Waste Disposal (INE) provides state-of-the-art infrastructure for catalysis research with hard X-rays at the KIT Synchrotron.
The Catalysis and operando spectroscopy department is composed of the following working groups: