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Nanoparticles: The Complex Rhythm of Chemistry

Nanoparticles are often used as catalysts. The chemical reactions on their surface are more complex than previously thought, experiments at the Institute of Materials Chemistry show.

Microscopic image of a nanoparticle with a chemical reaction moving across.

The chemical reaction moves across the nanoparticle like a wave.

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Original publication

Resolving multifrequential oscillations and nanoscale interfacet communication in single particle catalysis
Y. Suchorski, J. Zeininger, S. Buhr, M. Raab, M. Stöger-Pollach, J. Bernardi, H. Grönbeck, G. Rupprechter

Science 372 (2021) 1314-1318, opens an external URL in a new window

This work was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) in the context of the project „Spatial-temporal phenomenaon surface structure libraries“.

Image of a nanoparticle and its chemical reactions.

(a) Modern catalysts consist of nanoparticles; (b) a rhodium tip serves as a model nanoparticle; (c) real-time monitoring of a reaction using a field electron microscope; (d) at low temperatures, oscillations on different nanofacets are synchronized; (e) at higher temperatures the spatial coupling collapses and oscillations are not synchronized.