BER Structural Biology and Imaging Resources
Synchrotron, Neutron, and Cryo-EM
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Study Pinpoints Most Active Areas of Reactions on Nanoscale Particles

January 11, 2021

Feature Story

Key hot spots for chemical reactivity in nanosized platinum and gold particles have been found in the defects and jagged surfaces at their edges. Understanding and customizing the structural properties of these catalysts are important in the production of many industrial products, such as fertilizers, fuel, and plastics, to make them more efficient while remaining unchanged in the process. A team of researchers working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel confirmed how the atomic structure of nanoparticles affects their function with a unique infrared probe at LBNL’s Advanced Light Source.

Wu, C.-Y., et al. 2017. “High-Spatial-Resolution Mapping of Catalytic Reactions on Single Particles,” Nature 541, 511–15. [DOI:10.1038/nature20795]