Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Individual atoms imaged in a living catalytic reaction

Date:
July 12, 2013
Source:
University of York
Summary:
Groundbreaking new electron microscopy technology is allowing researchers to observe and analyze single atoms, small clusters and nanoparticles in dynamic in-situ experiments for the first time.

Cover of the journal Annalen der Physik.
Credit: Annalen der Physik / WILEY-VCH

Groundbreaking new electron microscopy technology developed at the York JEOL Nanocentre at the University of York is allowing researchers to observe and analyse single atoms, small clusters and nanoparticles in dynamic in-situ experiments for the first time.

The influential work being carried out at York is opening up striking new opportunities for observing and understanding the role of atoms in reactions in many areas of the physical sciences. It also has important implications for new medicines and new energy sources.

So far, observing reacting atoms has been difficult. When studying the reactions at the catalyst surface, scientists usually have to look into idealised systems under vacuum conditions rather than examining the reality of an industrial catalytic process in a gas environment.

However, in a world first, the Directors of the York JEOL Nanocentre, Professor Ed Boyes and Professor Pratibha Gai, have developed atomic resolution in-situ aberration corrected environmental scanning transmission electron microscopy technology (in-situ AC-ESTEM) for catalyst reaction studies in realistic reaction conditions.

With the new technology it is now possible to observe and analyse single atoms, small clusters and nanoparticles in dynamic in-situ experiments with controlled gas reaction environments at initial operating temperatures of up to 500◦C under transient reaction conditions.

The seminal research carried out entirely at the York JEOL Nanocentre -- a major long-term collaboration between the University's Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Electronics, the European Union, Yorkshire Forward and leading electron optics manufacturer JEOL -- is reported in Annalen der Physik (Berlin).

Professor Gai, Co-Director of the York JEOL Nanocentre and Professor of Electron Microscopy with Chairs in York's Departments of Chemistry and Physics, said: "Our research opens up exciting new opportunities for observing and studying reacting atoms, the fundamental basic building blocks of matter, in many reactions and is especially important for the development of new medicines and new energy sources."

The team of York scientists, which includes Michael Ward and Dr Leonardi Lari, has successfully imaged individual platinum atoms on carbon supports in a reacting catalyst under controlled atmosphere and temperature conditions.

Professor Boyes, Co-Director of York JEOL Nanocentre, with Chairs in York's Departments of Physics and Electronics, said: "Platinum on carbon supports is important in many applications in the chemical industry including in energy sources such as fuel cells and is an informative model system more generally."

The work was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Edward D. Boyes, Michael R. Ward, Leonardo Lari, Pratibha L. Gai. ESTEM imaging of single atoms under controlled temperature and gas environment conditions in catalyst reaction studies. Annalen der Physik, 2013; 525 (6): 423 DOI: 10.1002/andp.201300068

Cite This Page:

University of York. "Individual atoms imaged in a living catalytic reaction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130712084341.htm>.
University of York. (2013, July 12). Individual atoms imaged in a living catalytic reaction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130712084341.htm
University of York. "Individual atoms imaged in a living catalytic reaction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130712084341.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins