Our laboratories at Lehigh University have the premier in situ and operando molecular characterization tools in the world employing various optical methods of Raman, FT-IR and UV-Vis-NIR DRS spectroscopies, for investigating various catalytic materials including nanoscale metal oxides. The fundamental goal of these facilities is to establish the relationship of molecular structure, reactivity, and selectivity that are the basis for the molecular engineering of nanoscale metal oxide catalysts for applications in many fields such as environmental, energy and petrochemicals.

Additionally, we have hosted several symposiums at Lehigh Univesity about our advanced surface characterization capabilities. For symposium information click here.

High Sensitivity Low Energy Ion Scattering (HS-LEIS) Spectroscopy

True Surface Characterization

The Qtac100 (by ionTOF) is the new generation of LEIS instruments. It has been developed to include small spot analysis, surface imaging, and static and dynamic profiling, along with 3000 times higher sensitivy than conventional LEIS instruments. This instrument provides the best quantitative look at the top atomic layer of materials. For more information on HS-LEIS click here or for the HS-LEIS symposium page, complete with lectures, click here.


In Situ Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy

Molecular Structures

The Thermo Nicolet 8700 FT-IR spectrometer has resolution capabilities up to 0.125 wavenumbers and collection times in the microseconds. Several reaction chambers/cells are used with this equipment:

1. Harrick Praying Mantis attachment (model DRA-2) and reaction chamber

2. Harrick Horizon ATR Unit

3. Harrick FastIR ATR with Harrick temperature controlled demountable liquid cell


In Situ
UV-vis-NIR Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (DRS)

Electronic Stuctures
The Agilent Cary Series 5000 UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometer with the integration sphere diffuse reflectance attachment, allows the determination of electronic structures of catalytic active sites including nano domains of varying size under various reaction condition (reducing and oxidizing gas environments, at temperatures up to 773K).


Temperature-Programmed Surface Reaction (TPSR) Spectroscopy

Surface Chemical Information
The AMI-100, and AMI-200 units equipped with the DM-200 mass spectrometer provides information on true surface kinetic parameters, active site density, acid/basic/redox site distribution, surface elemental composition, and surface active site oxidation states.



Operando Raman/IR/UV-Vis Spectroscopy
Operando System
What is Operando Spectroscopy?
Spectroscopic characterization of catalysts under realistic reaction conditions with simultaneous real-time online analysis of reaction products.
Structure-Activity Relationships

The Horiba-Jobin Yvon LabRam HR Raman system also incorporates IR (SenseIR) and UV-Vis spectroscopy. Gaseous products flow from the reactor cell to an online mass spectrometer (Varian, 1200L quadrulpole). Simultaneous Raman/IR/UV-Vis spectra and mass spec readings provide the ultimate set of data, revealing the structure-activity relationship of the catalyst.