Research topics

In very close collaboration with the department AC of the Fritz-Haber-Institut  the E-GKAT group aims to gain a generalized understanding of heterogeneous catalysis as a multi-scale phenomenon. To achieve this goal in situ methodologies are developed and applied in order to combine the obtained spectroscopic information with catalytic performance data. This approachis followed since catalysts are dynamic functional materials whose active sites are metastable in many cases and are formed or just under reaction conditions. A wide spectrum of reactions is studied using materials and conditions typical for technical applications. Examples are selective and total oxidation of hydrocarbons, ammonia synthesis, CO oxidation and selective oxidation and decomposition of methanol. Further, one of the most pressing topics is covered: “Energy Conversion and Storage”. This research includes catalysis, electrocatalysis for the production of clean and renewable energy as well as chemical and electrochemical energy storage incl. batteries. In particular, the activation of small molecules such as water, CO2 and CH4 are long-standing issues in catalysis bearing now a much larger relevance in the context of storing renewable energy in chemical bonds.