MRS Bulletin

Technical Feature

Technical Feature

Atomic-Resolution Environmental Transmission Electron Microscopy for Probing Gas–Solid Reactions in Heterogeneous Catalysis

Pratibha L. Gai, Edward D. Boyes, Stig Helveg, Poul L. Hansen, Suzanne Giorgio and Claude R. Henry

Abstract

Advances in atomic-resolution environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) and related techniques for probing gas–solid reactions in situ are described. The capabilities of ETEM allow the dynamic nanostructure of heterogeneous catalysts in their functioning states to be directly monitored in real time. Applications of ETEM in catalysis are outlined, and they illustrate significant new insights into the dynamic nanostructure of the catalyst materials and their modes of operation.

Pratibha L. Gai is JEOL Professor and Yorkshire Forward Chair of Electron Microscopy and Nanotechnology, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, a professor in the Department of Physics, and co-director of the York JEOL Nanocentre, all at the University of York. Gai graduated with a PhD degree in physics from Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. After postdoctoral work in the Inorganic Chemistry Department at the University of Oxford, Gai became a group leader of the Surface Reactions and In SituMicroscopy Group at the Department of Materials, Oxford, and a fellow of Wolfson College. She also was a research fellow in the Central Research and Development Department of DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware, and jointly served as an adjunct professor of materials science at the University of Delaware.

Her research interests include nanomaterials, catalysts, semiconductors, superconductors, and in situelectron microscopy under controlled environments, including dynamic aberration-corrected electron microscopy. Gai is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, a chartered engineer of the Institute of Materials, and a recipient of awards for her work on in situelectron microscopy of catalytic materials. She has published nine books and more than 200 scientific papers and holds numerous patents in catalysis and nanocoatings. Her patented co-invention of a nanocoating process for plastic materials has been commercialized by DuPont.

Gai can be reached by e-mail at pgb500@york.ac.uk.

Edward D. Boyes is a professor in the Departments of Physics and Electronics at the University of York and is co-director of the York JEOL Nanocentre. The laboratory's work is centered on aberrationcorrected electron microscopy for dynamic in situexperiments. His research interests are focused on novel instrumentation for application-driven analytical methods using various microscopy techniques and related chemical and crystallographic analyses.

Boyes received his PhD degree in materials science from Cambridge University and was a postdoctoral researcher in Cambridge (Cavendish Lab) and Oxford, which led to a faculty position in the Oxford Materials Department and a fellowship at Wolfson College. Before joining the University of York, he was a senior research fellow in the Central Research and Development Department of DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware.

As a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Boyes is involved in reviews of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Boyes can be reached at tel. +44 1904 328407 and by e-mail at eb520@york.ac.uk.

Stig Helveg is a research scientist in the R&D Division at Haldor Topsøe A/S. He received his PhD degree in physics from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, in 2000 on model catalyst studies using STM. He joined Haldor Topsøe A/S in 2000 and is responsible for catalyst characterization by means of transmission electron microscopy techniques. His research interests focus on environmental transmission electron microscopy for in situstudies of the atomic-scale structure and reactivity of heterogeneous catalysts and related materials.

Helveg can be reached at Haldor Topsøe A/S, Nymøllevej 55, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark; tel. +45 4527 2823; e-mail sth@topsoe.dk.

Poul L. Hansen is project and department manager in the R&D Division at Haldor Topsøe A/S. He received his PhD degree in technical physics from the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby in 1990. Hansen has a wide range of experience in catalyst characterization, with a special interest in advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques. His current work focuses on the research and development of hydrotreating catalysts for the oil refining industry.

Hansen can be reached at Haldor Topsøe A/S, Nymøllevej 55, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark; tel. +45 4527 4598; e-mail plh@topsoe.dk.

Suzanne Giorgio is a professor in the ESIL Department of Materials at the University of the Mediterranean Aix- Marseille II in France.

Giorgio earned her habilitationfrom the University Aix-Marseille III in 1987 and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin in 1988. From 1983 through 2004, Giorgio was also a researcher at CNRS.

Giorgio can be reached at CRMCN-CNRS, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France; tel. +33 6 62 90 38 28; e-mail giorgio@crmcn.univmrs.fr.

Claude Henry is director of the Centre de Recherche en Matière Condensée et Nanosciences at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CRMCN-CNRS). He is also a research director at CNRS and the head of a “cluster group” at CNRS. His PhD studies in 1983 focused on the nucleation of supported clusters. Afterward, he was a postdoctoral researcher at IBM–Almaden from 1986 to 1987. Henry is a recognized expert on supported model catalysts. He is a member of the editorial board of Surface Science, chair of four international conferences, and has authored 150 publications. Henry also received the Humboldt–Gay Lussac research award in 2001.

Henry can be reached at CRMCN-CNRS, Campus de Luminy, Case 913, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France; tel. +33 662 92 28 32; e-mail henry@crmcn.univ-mrs.fr.

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