Advanced Electron Microscopy of Catalytic Materials
Visualizing the structure of catalytic materials with atomic precision, under operating conditions and in 3D using advanced electron microscopy techniques is one of the main focus areas of my research, and an essential step in understanding how catalysts work. Our capabilities span in situ gas phase, in situ liquid phase, electron tomography, aberration corrected microscopy, HAADF-STEM imaging, EDX elemental mapping, FIB-SEM tomography, (cryo-)TEM and (cryo-)SEM. Through the Electron Microscopy Center at Utrecht University we have access to wide range of high-end TEM and SEM microscopes. Additionally, we develop in-house image processing tools to quantitatively analyze our microscopy data.
Design of Atomically Precise Catalysts through Colloid Synthesis
Introducing novel design concepts for catalytic materials relevant for selective hydrogenation and oxidation catalysis is a key goal of my group. We do this by employing colloid synthesis approaches to arrive at multi-metallic particles well-defined in size, shape, metal composition and metal distribution. We have a strong focus on core-shell catalysts, an emerging class of materials that is rapidly gaining interest due to their unmatched catalytic performance and efficient use of precious metals. Using state-of-the art electron microscopy techniques and catalytic testing facilities we aim to gain fundamental understanding of the structural properties giving rise to the strongly enhanced catalytic activity of core-shell catalysts.