Research Associate, UCL
Designing better catalysts for sustainable future
The aim of this project is to investigate the structural transformation of a series of catalytically active supported gold nanoparticles with the help of in situ grazing incidence small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS and GIWAXS) analysis combined with the on-line mass spectrometry (MS). Using an advanced nanoparticle synthesis method and surface sensitive techniques under reaction conditions we were able to show that the composition and shape of the nanoparticles depends very much on the chemical environment; the particles are shown to be dynamic, undergoing reversible size and shape change particularly during catalytic reaction, highlighting a dynamism often not observed in traditional studies. The industrially important catalytic processes such as hydrogenation of 1,3-butadiene (C4H6) and CO oxidation were studied. Our findings will enable the design of better nanoparticulate catalytic systems with specific particle size and shape.
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