My research activities focus on the study of heterogeneous catalysts using simplified systems (model systems) at conditions ranging from ultra-high vacuum to industrially relevant pressures, using surface science techniques. Catalysts of particular interest are microporous materials such as zeolites. Although the majority of the volume of heterogeneous catalysts used in the industry falls in this category, they are particularly difficult to study with surface science techniques. The problem resides in the fact that the catalytically active surface is enclosed within the pores and thus out of the reach of surface science tools, which require an “exposed” surface. A useful approach to overcome this difficulty is to create two-dimensional analog materials that have the same active sites as the three-dimensional porous ones. In this way, the active site can be probed with typical surface science tools. See references (1-3) below for the case of the preparation of “two dimensional” zeolites. A tool that will become particularly important for model system studies at relevant conditions is ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AP-XPS). That is why we are currently working on this analytical technique at beamline X1A1 at NSLS and designing a new AP-XPS end-station at NSLS II.
1. J.A. Boscoboinik, X. Yu, B. Yang, F.D. Fischer, R. Wlodarczyk, M. Sierka, S. Shaikhutdinov, J. Sauer, H.-J. Freund. Modelling Zeolites with Metal-Supported Two-Dimensional Aluminosilicate films. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 24, 6005-6008.
2. J.A. Boscoboinik, X. Yu, E. Emmez, B. Yang, S. Shaikhutdinov, F. Fischer, J. Sauer, H.-J. Freund. Interaction of Probe Molecules with Bridging Hydroxyls of Two-Dimensional Zeolites: A Surface Science Approach. J. Phys. Chem. C 2013, 117, 13547–13556.
3. J.A. Boscoboinik, X. Yu, B. Yang, S. Shaikhutdinov, H.-J. Freund. Building Blocks of Zeolites on an Aluminosilicate Ultra-Thin Film. Micropor. Mesopor. Mater. 2013, 165, 158-162.
4. J.A. Boscoboinik, F.C. Calaza, Z. Habeeb, D.W. Bennett, D.J. Stacchiola, M.A. Purino, W.T. Tysoe. One-dimensional supramolecular surface structures: 1,4-diisocyanobenzene on Au(111) surfaces. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2010, 12, 11624-11629.
5. J.A. Boscoboinik, C. Plaisance, M. Neurock, W.T. Tysoe. Monte Carlo and density functional theory analysis of the distribution of gold and palladium atoms on Au/Pd(111) alloys. Phys. Rev. B 2008, 77, 1-6.