In-Operando Characterization of the Structural Dynamics of Nanoscale Catalytic Materials
The electronic and atomic structural properties of nanoscale metal catalysts exhibit complex structural/dynamical influences with origins related to impacts due to particle size, metal-support interactions, and specific—and strongly condition-dependent—features of metal-adsorbate bonding. The experimental investigation of these factors, as well as the elucidation of the impacts they have on mechanisms in catalysis, are hindered by their interdependency in working catalysts. In this talk I will discuss methods suitable for characterizing such features using combined high spatial/energy resolution methods of electron microscopy and x-ray absorption spectroscopy methods—illustrating their application to both model systems and functional catalysts.
I will explore the emerging understandings coming from recent collaborative studies that examine dynamical features that underpin both condition responsive bond-strains and perturbations of electronic structure in supported heterogeneous catalysts, and the complexities that arise due to the interplay of metal-support and metal-adsorbate bonding effects. The work extends insights into the fluxional structural dynamics that are manifested in these systems, a feature harboring significant consequences for understandings of both their properties and mechanisms of action.