I am a Rudolf Mößbauer Professor at the Technical University of Munich, leading the group "Functional Nanomaterials". My research interests lie in dynamical processes on surfaces of functional nanomaterials. In particular, in my group we study the diffusion of molecules and metal clusters on well-defined model catalyst surfaces via time-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and follow surface reactions on size-selected metal clusters. By comparing the stability, dynamics and reactivity of model catalyst surfaces under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) and under near ambient pressures (NAP), it is possible to unravel the interplay of interactions of adsorbate molecules with each other, with metal clusters, and with the substrate, thus obtaining a wealth of information about the stability and intrinsic fluxionality of a catalyst particle.
In 2019, I got awarded an ERC Starting Grant to investigate the dynamic restructuring of model catalysts under reaction conditions. In fall 2020, our new NAP-STM instrument arrived in our labs which we use to investigate how the structure of catalyst particles (metal clusters) and oxide supports changes under reaction conditions with high temporal and spatial resolution. By using size-selected clusters (i.e. clusters with a precisely defined number of atoms), it is possible to investigate how the formation and decay of highly reactive particle structures occurs, can be controlled and how such structural changes influence the function of a catalyst. It is my goal to gain knowledge which will help us find cheaper alternatives to the precious metal catalysts commonly used today.
Prof. Dr. Barbara A. J. Lechner
Department of Chemistry
Technical University of Munich
+49 (89) 289 - 13394 / 13645