Imaging Hierarchically Complex Catalyst Bodies at Multiple Length Scales
Solid catalysts are highly complex, porous, multi-elemental and often hierarchically structured materials. Scientists are therefore confronted with a formidable challenge to understand the functioning of solid catalysts and, based on this knowledge, to design and make materials with superior performance and overall stability. Because solid catalysts often change during their operation microspectroscopy is a valuable tool for both in-situ and ex-situ catalyst characterization1. In this presentation I will focus on our latest work using different microscopy and microspectroscopy techniques in 2-D and 3-D and using both photons and electrons to investigate whole catalyst bodies at the meso- and macro-pore scale. Special emphasis will be put on 3-D studies using synchrotron based X-ray Microscopy providing detailed information about the morphological changes that take place during operation of a fluid catalytic cracking catalyst that is used to showcase the power of state-of-the-art X-ray imaging techniques.
1 F. Meirer and B.M. Weckhuysen Nat. Rev. Mater. 3, 324–340 (2018).
Assistant Professor for Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University
Florian Meirer studied technical physics at the Vienna University of Technology with special emphasis on X-ray physics. He obtained his ScD in 2008 working on synchrotron radiation based X-ray spectroscopy in total reflection geometry in the group of Prof. Christina Streli and then started a postdoctoral research fellowship (Erwin Schrödinger fellowship, Austrian Science Fund) at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, Menlo Park, USA in the group of Prof. Piero Pianetta. In 2010 he obtained a Marie-Curie Cofund fellowship and worked at the Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento, Italy focusing on dopant activation research for advanced CMOS technology. Since 2013 he is employed as an Assistant Professor in the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group at Utrecht University, reinforcing the group of Prof. Bert M. Weckhuysen, where he obtained VIDI grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) in 2016. His current research focuses on the development and application of spectro-microscopic techniques (mainly but not limited to X-rays) for obtaining insights about nanoscale processes that are critical for a better understanding of how advanced functional materials operate at multiple length scales.