Electronic structure

Group leader: Axel Knop-Gericke

Research area

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.

The performed measurements requiredthe development and construction of a dedicated infrastructure as beamlines, endstations and reaction cells. The group is operating three beamlines at the synchrotron radiation facility BESSY in Berlin.

Heterogeneous catalyticreactions like the selective oxidation of propylene and methanol over silver were studied. The application of in-situ XPS revealed molecular oxygen species related to sulfur impurities playing an important role in the ethylene epoxidation over silver.

Electrochemical cells have been developed, which enables the investigation of the oxygen evolution reaction of Iridium oxides and the carbon dioxide reduction over copper. Most of the measurements were completed by density functional theory (DFT) calculations.

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