In-situ observations of catalytic surface reactions with soft x-rays under working conditions

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Catalytic chemical reactions proceeding on solid surfaces are an important topic in fundamental science and industrial technologies such as energy conversion, pollution control and chemical synthesis. Complete understanding of the heterogeneous catalysis and improving its efficiency to an ultimate level are the eventual goals for many surface scientists. Soft x-ray is one of the prime probes to observe electronic and structural information of the target materials. Most studies in surface science using soft x-rays have been performed under ultra-high vacuum conditions due to the technical limitation, though the practical catalytic reactions proceed under ambient pressure conditions. However, recent developments of soft x-ray based techniques operating under ambient pressure conditions have opened a door to the in-situ observation of materials under realistic environments. The near-ambient-pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (NAP-XPS) using synchrotron radiation enables us to observe the chemical states of surfaces of condensed matters under the presence of gas(es) at elevated pressures, which has been hardly conducted with the conventional XPS technique. Furthermore, not only the NAP-XPS but also ambient-pressure compatible soft x-ray core-level spectroscopies, such as near-edge absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) and x-ray emission spectroscopy (XES), have been significantly contributing to the in-situ observations. In this review, first we introduce recent developments of in-situ observations using soft x-ray techniques and current status. Then we present recent new findings on catalytically active surfaces using soft x-ray techniques, particularly focusing on the NAP-XPS technique. Finally we give a perspective on the future direction of this emerging technique.

Original languageEnglish
Article number083003
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 4


  • catalytic surface reaction
  • in-situ observation
  • soft x-ray spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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