Dr. Raül Garcia Diez received poster award at the international synchrotron conference SRI 2018

Raül Garcia Diez is awarded the poster prize. © SRI 2018

HZB researcher introduces unique operando characterization by soft X-ray spectroscopy

The HZB physicist Raül Garcia Diez has been awarded a poster prize at the international conference "Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation 2018" (SRI 2018) in Taiwan. He presented how the HZB team intends to observe the reactions in electrocatalysts under "operando" conditions with soft X-rays from BESSY II.

“Operando" analysis is of vital importance for investigating catalytic processes in materials and getting insights into the chemical reaction. This enables researchers to understand the mechanisms that limit the performance and stability of electrocatalyst materials. However, "operando" characterization techniques for catalysts and liquid environments - especially for soft X-ray applications - have to been pushed beyond the current limits first.

"Operando" investigations in a wide energy range

Dr. Raül Garcia Diez is part of Dr.-Ing. Marcus Bär's young investigator research group, which is developing this experimental setup in the EMIL laboratory. This includes a compact X-ray spectrometer (HiTS: "High transmission soft x-ray emission spectrometer") and a flow-cell suited for electrochemistry. The X-ray optics designed for the HiTS spectrometer enable material investigations over an extremely wide energy range (from 50 to 2,000 eV).

"Our design sets new standards in the field of soft X-ray spectroscopy. I am happy that I could report at the conference about the progress made in developing the EMIL infrastructure for “operando” measurements. The poster award is a recognition of our work," says Raül Garcia Diez.

The International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation takes place every three years. With approximately 800 participants, it is the largest conference in this field; almost all synchrotron facilities in the world were represented at this year's conference with talks and posters.