Prof. Hans-Joachim Freund, FHI-Director Emeritus
The research centers around creating and studying model systems for heterogeneous catalysts and understanding its geometric and electronic structure, as well as its chemical reactivity at the atomic scale. Starting from single crystal metal surfaces, oxide supports are modelled by creating well-ordered thin oxide films of a large variety of materials on such metal single crystals, thus creating model supports for metal nanoparticles and its interaction with gases and liquids to understand the chemistry of the systems. Through such an approach we increase, in a controlled way, the complexity of the systems, trying to approach a situation, where aspects of real heterogeneous catalysts are being captured and may be analyzed. Parallel to the development of those materials model systems, novel techniques and instruments have been developed to investigate the structural properties of the systems, and recently also its structural dynamics.