Video on Net Zero research work by PhD student James Counter at the B07 beamline, Diamond Light Source
Heterogeneous catalysis research has as one of its main objectives the derivation of structure-activity links. These relationships relate catalytic performance, such as reactant conversion, product selectivity, and reaction mechanism, with physical sample composition, such as active metal distribution, pore network properties, and support shape and structure. By encouraging knowledge-based design and operation of catalytic processes rather than trial-and-error experimental or synthetic approaches, understanding structure-activity links is a difficult but essential step in building more effective and stable catalysts.
The B07 team has been working on new sample environments for the catalysis community. In particularly, James project focuses on the design and development of electrochemical cells for in-situ NAP-XPS/NEXAFS investigations of water splitting reactions for green hydrogen production. The more accurate and realistic the characterization in spatial and time domains and in terms of reaction conditions with careful approach, the more information can be harvested regarding structure-activity relationships. Therefore, the new samples environment at B07 beamline provides opportunities for collaboration with national and international research communities to develop new materials and robust technology to address clean energy and environmental issues, contributing to the COP26 major goal of Net Zero target by 2050.