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Short Curriculum Vitae

Since 03/2010 University assistant at the Institute of Materials Chemistry
01/2010 PhD in Technical Chemistry, TU Wien
"Surface Science Investigations of mono- and bimetallic catalytic nanostructures by PM-IRAS and XPS spectroscopy"
Supervisor: Prof. G. Rupprechter
11/2005 - 10/2006 Research stay at the Fritz-Haber-Institute of the Max-Planck-Society, Berlin
Supervisor: Prof. H.-J. Freund, G. Rupprechter
08/2005 Diploma in Chemistry, Ulm University
"Grundlagen zur Herstellung mikrostrukturierter, planarer Modellkatalysatoren mit bimetallischen Nanopartikeln -Au/Ag-TiO2(110)-"
Supervisor: Prof. R.J. Behm

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Research Interests

The main objective of our group is to understand the processes that are going on during reaction at a catalyst surface on a molecular level. For that purpose we are utilizing well-defined model systems based on metal single crystals, oxide thin films, and supported metal nanoparticles to study the elemental steps of a catalytic reaction. Especially we are interested in the catalytic properties of bimetallic surfaces and nanoparticles. It is well known that e.g. alloys can have very different properties from the constituting metals. For example, PdZn alloys are very good catalysts for methanol steam reforming whereas Pd alone predominantly catalysis methanol decomposition and Zn is not an active catalyst for this reaction.
We are characterizing our model systems concerning their structure by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM, atomic resolution) and Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED), their chemical composition and electronic properties by photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, AES). Available adsorption sites, adsorption/desorption energies, reaction intermediates and possible mechanisms are tested by the adsorption of reactants or probe molecules followed by Infrared - and Temperature Programmed Desorption Spectroscopy (TDS).
The XPS/PM-IRAS setup          The UHV HT-STM chamber
To overcome the problems that may arise upon transferring conclusions gained under Ultrahigh Vacuum (UHV) to a technical catalytic process we are testing the catalytic properties (activity, selectivity) by in situ Polarization Modulation Infrared Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy (PM-IRAS) operating from UHV to atmospheric (˜reaction) conditions. Additionally, we have access to in situ XPS and EXAFS at synchrotron sources in collaboration with other groups.
Only the combination of all methods enables us to draw an almost complete picture of what is going on at the surface during the catalytic process and which parameters are influencing the properties of the catalyst.
The combination of Surface Science techniques with advanced in situ spectroscopic methods helps us to compare the results obtained from the simplified model systems with industrial grade high surface area powder catalysts.

Our current research projects involve:

  • preparation and in situ characterization of PdZn/Pd(111) surface alloys as model systems for modern methanol steam reforming catalysts
  • in situ spectroscopy on zirconia (mixed) oxide thin films
  • STM on Pd(111) and PdZn surfaces



Selected Publications

1. Al2O3/NiAl(110) C. Weilach, C. Spiel, K. Föttinger, G. Rupprechter
"Carbonate formation on Al2O3/NiAl(110) model catalysts"
Surface Science 605 (2011), 1500.
2. TOC Angewandte C. Rameshan, W. Stadlmayr, C. Weilach, S. Penner, H. Lorenz, M. Hävecker, R. Blume, T. Rocha, D. Teschner, A. Knop-Gericke, R. Schlögl, N. Memmel, D. Zemlyanow, G. Rupprechter, B. Klötzer
"Subsurface-controlled CO2-selectivity of PdZn near surface alloys in H2 generation by methanol steam reforming"
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 49 (2010), 3224.
3. TOC Nanotoday G. Rupprechter, C. Weilach
"Mind the gap! Spectroscopy of catalytically active phases"
NanoToday 2 2007, 20.



Group Members

DI Harald Helmuth Holzapfel
MSc. Hao Li
MSc. Oguz Yunus Saribiyik



Cooperation Partners

Prof. Günther Rupprechter, IMC
Prof. Yuri Suchorsiki, IMC
Dr. Karin Föttinger, IMC
Prof. Bernhard Klötzer, Institut für Physikalische Chemie, Universität Innsbruck, Austria
Prof. Konstantin Neyman, Departament de Química Física & Institut de Química Teòrica i Computacional (IQTC-UB), Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Prof. Joachim Schnadt, Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research, Department of Physics, Lund University, Sweden
Prof. Claude Henry, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Marseille, France
Prof. Jörg Libuda, Lehrstuhl für Physikalische Chemie II, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
SFB "Functional Oxide Surfaces and Interfaces (FOXSI)"


TU Vienna | Institute of Materials Chemistry | Getreidemarkt 9/165 | A-1060 Vienna
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