Institute of Materials Chemistry
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Assistant Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Föttinger Karin

Getreidemarkt 9/165
1060 Wien

Tel.: +43/1/58801-165110
Fax: +43/1/58801-165980



Publications (at ResearcherID)


Research Interests

The main research interest of our group is to establish structure-performance relationships and to identify reaction mechanisms. Understanding the elementary reaction steps occurring at the catalyst surface and identification of the involved intermediates and surface sites under relevant conditions is crucial for a rational design and improvement of catalytic materials. To achieve this goal, we combine the spectroscopic characterization of catalysts under technologically relevant conditions with reaction kinetics analysis. Materials of interest include high surface area metal oxides (e.g. ZrO2, CeO2, ZnO, Ga2O3, Al2O3, V2O5) and oxide supported (bi)metallic nanoparticles (e.g. Pd, Au, Ni, Cu, Ag) that possess well defined structure and morphology but exhibit the complexity of industrially applied catalysts.
 We utilize a range of different state of the art techniques, all applied in situ. A main focus is the application of vibrational spectroscopy (FTIR, sum frequency generation) during reactions both in gas phase and in liquid phase, including mechanistic studies and isotope labeling experiments. These studies are complemented by examining structure (XRD, EXAFS), electronic properties (XPS, XANES) and available surface sites (FTIR of probe molecules, temperature-programmed methods, chemisorption). XPS and X-ray absorption spectroscopy is carried out within measurements stays at synchrotrons. Several reactor setups are available for performing catalytic tests equipped with GC and MS detection of products.
 Our major topics of interest are environmental catalysis and "green chemistry", e.g. degradation of contaminants, hydrogen production for fuel cell applications (reforming, methanol conversion), selective oxidation reactions (in line with the idea of green chemistry: efficient utilization of resources, optimizing reaction selectivities and avoiding unwanted byproducts).

Our current research interests involve:

  • In situ characterization of Pd-Zn and Pd-Ga intermetallic compounds for methanol steam reforming
  • Removal of nitrates from drinking water by catalytic reduction on PdCu catalysts
  • Metal promoted zirconia based mixed oxides for methane conversion (reforming, solid oxide fuel cell applications)
  • Bimetallic Au-based catalysts for selective ethanol oxidation
  • Selective oxidation reactions on Pd supported on reducible oxides such as vanadia, niobia, iron oxides
  • Conversion of harmful Cl-containing contaminants into valuable products by hydrodechlorination

Selected Publications

  • N. Barrabes, D. Cornado, K. Föttinger*, A. Dafinov, J. Llorca, F Medina, G. Rupprechter
    "Hydrodechlorination of trichloroethylene on noble metal promoted Cu-hydrotalcite-derived catalysts"
    Journal of Catalysis 263 (2011), 239.

  • A. Haghofer, D. Ferri, K. Föttinger*, G. Rupprechter
    "Who Is Doing the Job? Unraveling the Role of Ga2O3 in Methanol Steam Reforming on Pd2Ga/Ga2O3"
    ACS Catalysis 2 (2012), 2305.

Group Members

DI Astrid Wolfbeisser 

MSc Liliana Lukashuk 

Mag. Dilek Demir

Former members of the group:

Prof. Hannelore Vinek

Dr. Katrin Zorn

DI Waltraud Emhofer

Dr. Andreas Haghofer

Dr. Noelia Barrabes

DI Matthäus Rothensteiner

DI Roman Tiefenthaller


Cooperation Partners

Prof. G. Rupprechter, Prof. Y. Suchorski, Dr. C. Rameshan, IMC, TU Vienna
Prof. R. Schlögl, Dr. A. Knop-Gericke, Dr. M. Behrens, Fritz-Haber-Institute, Berlin, Germany
Prof. J.A. van Bokhoven, ETH Zurich and Paul-Scherrer-Institute, Switzerland
Dr. M. Nachtegaal, Paul-Scherrer-Institute, Switzerland
Dr. D. Ferri, Paul-Scherrer-Institute, Switzerland
Prof. B. Klötzer, Dr. S. Penner, Leopold Franzens University Innsbruck, Austria
Dr. D. Lennon, University of Glasgow, UK
Prof. D. Eder, University Münster, Germany
Dr. N. Barrabes, University Geneva, Switzerland
Prof. J. Wittayakun, Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand
Dr. Atsushi Urakawa, ICIQ Tarragona, Spain
Prof. F. Medina, Universidad de Tarragona, Spain