Review

In Situ Studies of Chemistry and Structure of Materials in Reactive Environments

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 171-174
DOI: 10.1126/science.1197461

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Abstract

Most materials and devices typically operate under specific environmental conditions, many of them highly reactive. Heterogeneous catalysts, for example, work under high pressure of reactants or in acidic solutions. The relationship between surface structure and composition of materials during operation and their chemical properties needs to be established in order to understand the mechanisms at work and to enable the design of new and better materials. Although studies of the structure, composition, chemical state, and phase transformation under working conditions are challenging, progress has been made in recent years in the development of new techniques that operate under a variety of realistic environments. With them, new chemistry and new structures of materials that are only present under reaction conditions have been uncovered.

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