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KIT: Processes at the surface of catalysts
Date:4/10/2012

nd give the material a high catalytic activity," explains Professor Christof Wll, Director of the Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG) of KIT. With the new combination device for infrared spectroscopy, the researchers from Karlsruhe and Bochum developed a method that was first calibrated for reference systems. For the first time, they then measured defect densities of real catalyst powders using a high-performance FTIR spectrometer made by Bruker Optics (VERTEX series).

To demonstrate their new method, the researchers used rutile, the most important modification of titanium dioxide (TiO2). "This material used as white pigment and in photocatalysis normally is chemically highly inert and rendered catalytically active by the oxygen defects only," explains Professor Christof Wll. Professor Martin Muhler from RUB points out that such defects in powder materials have only been detected indirectly so far.

With their method, the researchers, including Dr. Mingchun Xu, Dr. Heshmat Noei, and Dr. Yuemin Wang from RUB as well as Dr. Karin Fink from the Institute of Nanotechnology (INT) of KIT, followed the "Surface Science" approach developed by the Noble Prize laureate Gerhard Ertl. They demonstrated the potential of their method by studying the carbon-carbon coupling reaction of formaldehyde to ethylene. Doing this, it was confirmed that the density of oxygen defects at the surface of r-TiO2 nanoparticles is of decisive im-portance to the catalytic activity of the oxide powder and, hence, to the yield.


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Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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