Structure and Reactivity

Structure and Reactivity

We study surface chemistry of oxide-supported metal and transition metal oxide nanoparticles focusing on the effect of the particle size, shape and the nature of oxide support on reactivity, particularly in CO2 hydrogenation reactions.

Mono- and multi-component particles, prepared for example by colloidal chemistry methods, are deposited onto planar oxide supports by dip coating, followed by oxygen plasma ligand removal and calcination-reduction treatments. In addition, metallic particles can be prepared by physical vapor deposition in vacuum.

In several UHV setups, we use a variety of surface science techniques such as scanning probe microscopy (SPM), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), low energy ion scattering (LEIS), temperature programmed desorption (TPD), infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS) (also in polarization-modulation mode, PM-IRAS), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) in UHV as well as at near atmospheric pressures (NAP-XPS). In addition, the elementary steps of reactions are addressed by molecular beam (MB) studies in combination with IRAS. The catalytic activity of model planar catalysts under both, UHV-compatible and realistic conditions can be monitored by a gas chromatography and mass-spectrometry. The results on model catalysts are compared to the “real” systems prepared on high surface area supports to rationalize the structure-reactivity relationships.

Group Members



Daniel Arribas Mercado (guest)
Dr. David Kordus
Victor Longo (guest)

Van Canh Nguyen

Dr. Shamil Shaikhutdinov

Dr. Jingyi Yang
Dr. Jie Zhu

Recent Publications

J. Barreto, N. Nilius, H. Tissot, S.K. Shaikhutdinov, H.-J. Freund and F. Stavale: Interaction of water and carbon monoxide with MnO(001) thin films on Au(111). Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 25 (43), 29808–29815 (2023).
S.W. Lee, A. Subramanian, F.B. Zamudio, J.Q. Zhong, S.M. Kozlov, S.K. Shaikhutdinov and B. Roldan Cuenya: Interaction of Gallium with a Copper Surface: Surface Alloying and Formation of Ordered Structures. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 127 (42), 20700–20709 (2023).
S.W. Lee, M. Lopez-Luna, N. Berdunov, W. Wan, S. Kunze, S.K. Shaikhutdinov and B. Roldan Cuenya: Unraveling surface structures of gallium promoted transition metal catalysts in CO2 hydrogenation. Nature Communications 14, 4649 (2023).
M. Prieto, T. Mullan, W. Wan, L.C. Tanase, S. Caldas, S.K. Shaikhutdinov, J. Sauer, D. Usvyat, T. Schmidt and B. Roldan Cuenya: Plasma Functionalization of Silica Bilayer Polymorphs. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 14 (43), 48609–48618 (2022).
W. Wan, J. Geiger, N. Berdunov, M. Lopez-Luna, S.W. Chee, N. Daelman, N. López, S.K. Shaikhutdinov and B. Roldan Cuenya: Highly Stable and Reactive Platinum Single Atoms on Oxygen Plasma-Functionalized CeO2 Surfaces: Nanostructuring and Peroxo Effects. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 61 (20), e202112640 (2022).
M. Lopez-Luna, J. Timoshenko, D. Kordus, C. Rettenmaier, S.W. Chee, A.S. Hoffman, S.R. Bare, S.K. Shaikhutdinov and B. Roldan Cuenya: Role of the Oxide Support on the Structural and Chemical Evolution of Fe Catalysts during the Hydrogenation of CO2. ACS Catalysis 11 (10), 6175–6185 (2021).
J.Q. Zhong, S.K. Shaikhutdinov and B. Roldan Cuenya: Structural Evolution of Ga-Cu Model Catalysts for CO2 Hydrogenation Reactions. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 125 (2), 1361–1367 (2021).

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