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Analytical tools


Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (tof-SIMS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) allow the surface composition of solid materials to be determined. Measurements can be performed in a large range of temperatures from 77 K to 1100K. The SIMS/XPS analysis chamber is directly connected to a preparation chamber and a high-pressure reactor so that samples can be pre-treated as desired. Sample holders are designed to allow materials analysis to be performed with samples of varying consistency (powders, metal foils, polymers, etc...). Currently, a variable temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) is mounted to the same apparatus, allowing samples to be characterized for thier surface structure.


Scanning Force Microscopy (SFM) is applied to study tribological properties of materials under ambient conditions of pressures and temperatures. Measurements can be performed in the liquid phase using a Peltier element to control temperatures.


Field Ion Microscopy (FIM) and atom-probe-Pulsed Field Desorption Mass Spectrometry (PFDMS) are applied to model catalytic reactions on small metal particles in the absence of a ceramic support. The course of catalytic reactions is imaged in real-time and on the nanoscale along with the determination of the chemical composition of the adsorbed layer. Surface structures are revealed with atomic resolution.


Catalytic reactions are studied at atmospheric pressure using flow reactors. Quadrupole mass spectrometry, gas chromatography and chemiluminescence serve as analytical methods. Catalysts are characterised by Temperature Programmed Decomposition / Reduction / Oxidation (TPDec / TPR / TPO). Fast switching partial pressures allows chemical transients (CTK) to be measured and reaction mechanisms to be elucidated.


Catalytic reactions are studied at pressures up to 100 bar using flow reactors ; a low-pressure reactor also enables the studying of surface reactions under dynamic pressure conditions down to the 10-6 mbar range.