Join Protochips at the EM China conference from October 24-27th in Chengdu, China. Sponsoring the In-Situ sub session, Protochips is proud to facilitate presentations and discussions from the electron microscopy community in China. Two distinguished customers will be presenting some of their groundbreaking work in the fields of catalysis and corrosion during the in situ session, featuring exciting results that can’t be missed! Below is more information about the talks:


Multi-scale Observation of Catalyst Dynamics Under Reactive Conditions

Marc-Georg Willinger

Group Leader, Scientific Center for Optical and Electron Microscopy, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin, Germany

Electron microscopy plays an important role in the characterization of catalysts and their precursors.
Atomically resolved images of catalyst particles serve as reference for theoretical modelling and have influenced the way in which we depict active sites. However, since high-resolution imaging and local compositional analysis is generally performed under vacuum and close to room temperature, the obtained atomistic details concern an equilibrium state that is of limited relevance if the active state of a catalyst is in the focus of the investigation. Indeed, heterogeneous catalytic reactions are highly non-linear chemical processes that are operated far from thermodynamic equilibrium. In situ electron microscopy has clearly demonstrated that the interaction with the gas phase induces changes of shape, composition and chemical dynamics.

During the last years, the availability of MEMS-based TEM holders for in situ experiments with controlled heating & biasing under liquid- and gas- environment has strongly enhanced our abilities to study materials under the influence of a physical or chemical stimulus.

Using a combination of in situ TEM and in situ SEM, we have studied the dynamics of active catalysts under simple redox conditions as well as under industrially relevant reactions, such as methanol oxidation. By bridging the scale from the Å to the mm range and pressures from 10-5 to 10+3 Pa, we are able to reveal the dynamic nature of active catalysts and to bridge the materials and pressure gap between simplified model systems and real-world catalysis. It will be shown that simultaneous detection of reaction products by RGA enables correlating structural dynamics with catalytic activity. We observe rate oscillations and oscillatory behaviour that is inherent to the action of a catalyst, which has to break bonds and facilitate the formation of new ones over and over again.


Microscopy for the “Real World”:  Exploring Metal-Environment Interactions Using Advanced in situ Analytical Electron Microscopy

Grace Burke

Director – Materials Performance Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK 

Professor of Materials Performance, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Microstructural characterization is a critical part of materials development, especially for the development of optimized alloys for engineering applications.  Improving the environment-sensitive behaviour of materials requires understanding the mechanisms of material degradation.  Conventionally, this has been achieved by post-test analysis of specimens to assess the local changes in microstructure that impact the performance of the material.  In situTEM techniques provide an exciting opportunity to explore “real world” materials with high precision in environments that can be relevant to industry.  In this presentation, the development and applications of in situanalytical TEM will be discussed, with examples relating to oxidation and liquid-metal reactions.  The importance of correlative microstructural characterisation and the unique materials science opportunities available with in situTEM will be demonstrated.


We look forward to seeing you at the Protochips booth!

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