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Joint Research Group Catalysis for Energy


A selection of our current research includes:

Silver and alloys in ethylene epoxidation

Ag is the only industrially used catalyst in ethylene epoxidation. Recent studies have indicated that one can increase the catalyst’s selectivity for ethylene oxide by alloying Ag with other metals like Cu, Au and Re. Our ongoing work utilizes Near- Ambient-Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (NAP-XPS) to correlate the active oxygen species and oxide phases present on the surface of the metals and alloys with the catalytic performance during ethylene epoxidation.

Graphene Chemical Vapour Deposition

A key to the large scale growth of Graphene is the carbon solubility in the catalyst. While graphene can be grown solely via a surface carbide at considerably low temperatures and pressures (< 400°C, 10-7 mbar), the resulting graphene film quality is rather poor with respect to island size, growth rate and defect density. A more suitable growth mode yielding in less defective graphene involves higher temperatures (~550°C) and moderate pressures in the 10-6 to 10-5 mbar range. The growth of graphene is studied by near ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

Li-ion batteries and water splitting

The electrochemistry project aims to attain insights into electrochemical processes related to energy conversion and storage systems on an atomistic level. We therefore combine classical electrochemical experiments with analytical tools for surface- and nano science, in particular X-ray absorption spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy and analytical transmission electron microscopy. Within our studies on Li-ion batteries we address the charge storage mechanism and degradation processes in electrode materials, currently focusing on silicon. The water splitting research focuses on the transformation of noble maetal electrodes like Pt and Ir with respect to their application in the oxygen evolution reaction.

Emil (Energy Materials In-Situ Laboratory Berlin)

Construction of a wide-range photon energy beamline and several endstations at BESSY II.

A link to access free-of-charge literature published by the collaborating institution can be found at: