A Seminar by Prof. Edman Tsang from Oxford University on the topic of: Induced Catalytically Active Sites over ‘Rigid’ Materials

December 19th

Hall No. 1


Prof. Edman Tsang from Oxford University

In this talk, I will aim to pose more questions than answers that I could provide in some
illustrations of dynamic structure-catalysis relationships. As generally known, the elucidation
of active sites’ structure in solid catalysts under real reaction conditions is one of the most
important challenges facing the scientific community. There is an increasing amount of
evidence by the in situ/operando characterization that active sites can be generated by the
interaction of substrate molecules with inorganic catalysts as akin to enzyme-substrate
interaction, which can result in the significant promotion of catalytic performance. In addition,
surface rearrangement could occur under reaction conditions, which may cause dynamic
changes in the active sites. Therefore, the real active sites under working conditions could
be significantly different from those characterized under ex situ conditions. Yet, current
limitations in state-of-the-art characterization techniques regarding spatial, temporal and
temperature/pressure gaps are sometimes unable to provide the answers for the
understanding. In-situ/operando characterization using modern designated synchrotron
offers exciting possibilities. I will give you some examples how Frustrated Lewis Pair (FLP)
sites can be created and monitored, which offer to catalyse a wide range of chemical
reactions. I hope this talk could stimulate new science/new instrumentation in catalysis and
other disciplines in future.

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