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A group of researchers from the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have found out that semiconductors can be converted to metals and back more easily and more quickly than previously thought. This discovery may increase the processing speed and simplify the design of many common technological devices. more

A research team from the Department of Physical Chemistry was able to observe for the first time the ultrafast hydration dynamics of electrons under real electrochemical conditions using a newly developed optoelectronic sampling scheme. The information gained from their study is essential for understanding the charge transfer at the metal/solution interface, which is at the heart of most electrochemical reactions. more

Transitioning to a sustainable energy economy requires electrocatalytic methods to convert electrical energy to chemical energy and feedstocks. A team of researchers from TU Berlin, ETH Zurich, the National Research Council – Institute of Materials of Trieste, and led by the FHI has now uncovered the reaction mechanism of a major bottleneck in these processes, the oxygen evolution reaction. Results are published in Nature. more

It would be a triple win – for the climate, raw material resources, and the chemical industry. With their work, scientists at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin hope to create the basis for extracting useful chemical products such as plastics from the methane that is usually flared off during oil production. They are looking into how to design a catalyst that converts methane into ethene more efficiently than is currently possible. They have now found a ground-breaking clue. more

Researchers at the Department of Physical Chemistry demonstrated a novel way to achieve ultrahigh sensitivity of atomic-scale vibrational spectroscopy using tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS). This method will allow investigation of local chemical structures and reactions at the atomic level and give a new insight into atomic-scale light–matter interactions. more

An international team of scientists around members of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry has now succeeded in microscopically observing continuous chemical processes on the surface of a working catalyst in real time with the help of state-of-the-art imaging methods. They found that continuous phase transitions are responsible for the functioning of catalysts. more

Scientists from the University of Innsbruck and the Theory Department of the Fritz-Haber-Institute find highly dynamic structural changes at the surface of working Copper electrocatalysts. These changes turn out to be key to the high performance and could be a design target for future improved catalysts. more

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