Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Surfaces and Interfaces

Innovative techniques allow researchers to study interfaces with great precision. The methods could become powerful tools in the rational design of catalytic materials

Equipment built by German scientists can be used to study processes at interfaces with great accuracy. In an article published recently in ChemPhysChem, Hans Joachim Freund and co-workers of the Fritz-Haber-Institut in Berlin describe the advancement of four experimental techniques developed in their lab to investigate nanoscopic systems.

By combining photon scanning tunneling microscopy, aberration-corrected low-energy electron microscopy coupled to photoelectron emission microscopy, microcalorimetry, and electron-spin resonance spectroscopy, unique information on the relationship between geometric structure and properties is obtained. The methods can be applied to solve fundamental problems in surface science and to study interesting systems -particularly in the field of catalysis- which would otherwise be difficult (or impossible) to address.

“Catalysis happens at interfaces and experimental techniques are desperately needed to provide information on those systems”, says Freund who is interested in understanding disperse metal and oxide catalysts at the atomic scale. According to the researcher, appropriate samples in this field are very complex so that a combination of techniques is generally required to achieve a complete picture and avoid overestimating individual results. This led him and his colleagues to design new instruments to characterize their systems.

The first method developed by the German team could overcome one of the main disadvantages of scanning probe techniques, namely, their inherent chemical insensitivity, by detecting the fluorescence signal generated by locally exciting the surface with electrons from the tip. The new technique is called photon scanning tunneling microscopy (PSTM) and has been used to study the optical characteristics of metal particles and investigate defect structures in oxide surfaces. Additionally, the researchers are working on a new aberration-corrected instrument for low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM) and photoelectron emission microscopy (PEEM), which will hopefully allow them to investigate single supported nanocatalysts. Freund and co-workers have also built a highly sensitive microcalorimeter that can be used to measure temperature-dependent heats of adsorption on nanoparticle ensembles with aggregate sizes of about a hundred atoms. The fourth technique, called electron-spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy, can be applied to study particle ensembles and may provide interesting information that is out of reach for other methods, the authors say.

Author: Hans Joachim Freund, Fritz-Haber Institut der Max-Planck Gesellschaft, Berlin (Germany),

Title: Innovative Measurement Techniques in Surface Science

ChemPhysChem 2011, 12, No. 1, Permalink to the article:

Hans Joachim Freund | Wiley-VCH
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>