Alejandro Freixes
Apr 10, 2012

Using infrared spectroscopy, scientists detect that oxygen defects act as active centers

In the chemical industry, heterogeneous catalysis is of crucial importance to the manufacturing of basic or fine chemicals, in catalytic converters of exhaust gas or for the chemical storage of solar energy. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have developed a new infrared spectroscopy method in order to study processes at surfaces of oxides used as catalysts. The research team of Professor Christof Wöll from KIT and Professor Martin Muhler from RUB first studied processes at surfaces of oxide monocrystals and then transferred the findings to powders, the technically most important form of oxide materials. To demonstrate their new method, the researchers used rutile, the most important modification of titanium dioxide (TiO2)