Research Groups

Catalysis with Oxides
Group leader: Annette  Trunschke

The chemical diversity of metal oxides accounts for the importance of this materials class in various functional applications.
We investigate the reactive surface of metal oxide catalysts in activation of C-H, O-O, C-O, and O-H bonds in small molecules.
The oxidation of short-chain alkanes and oxygenates on the surface of bulk and supported V-based mixed oxides, perovskites, and alkaline earth metal oxides is studied with the aim to identify descriptors to predict selectivity.
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Catalysis on Metals

Catalysis on Metals

Group leader: Katarzyna Skorupska

Our research is focused on catalytic applications of metal systems, their electronic structures and catalytic performance.
Electronic structure

Electronic structure

Group leader: Axel Knop-Gericke

The electronic structure of catalytically active solid/gas-phase and solid/liquid interfaces is our main interest. We perform synchrotron based in-situ/operando X-ray absorption (XAS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements to study structure-function relations. The measurements were supported by DFT calculations.
Liquid/vapuor Interfaces Group

Liquid/vapuor Interfaces Group

Group leader: Hendrik Bluhm


The focus of the group is on the investigation of aqueous interfaces, in particular ice/vapor and liquid/vapor interfaces. Heterogeneous reactions at these interfaces drive many processes in the environment and atmosphere. Examples are the capture and release of trace gases by aerosol droplets and the sequestration of CO2 by the oceans.
Electron Microscopy

Electron Microscopy

Group leader: Thomas Lunkenbein


The Electron Microscopy group focuses on microstructural characterization of heterogeneous catalysts, which are under study in the department.
Ultimate spatial resolution combined with the simultaneous acquisition of spectroscopic data are used to guide the synthesis of new catalysts as well as to reproduce the real structure and composition of a catalyst.
We use a delicate combination of ex situ, quasi in situ and in situ TEM techniques to unravel the working structure of a catalyst in order to contribute to the understanding of how the structure influences the catalytic activity.
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