The colloquium thrives on the following principles:
1. Focus on fundamental science and essential knowledge
2. Significant educational component
3. Personal perspective on the future of a field
4. Online and completely free format for everyone
Connect via Zoom or watch YouTube Live!
Follow on Twitter:
Sign up for email alerts on upcoming talks:
December 8 at 16:00 European Time (07:00 PST, 10:00 EST, 00:00 JST)
Prof. Michele Parrinello
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy
Beyond the Structure-Reactivity Paradigm in Heterogeneous Catalysis
Industrial catalytic processes are crucial to the welfare of mankind. It suffices to mention the production of ammonia that helps alleviating world famine. Most processes exploit the practical benefits of heterogeneous catalysis and operate at high temperatures and pressures. In these extreme conditions, experimental and theoretical studies are challenging. Models for the operando catalyst are usually build by extrapolating results obtained under much milder thermodynamic conditions. In this gentler regime the standard paradigm of a static-structure-reactivity relation is appropriate. Luckily, thanks to several technical innovations we are now able to simulate catalytic processes under more realistic conditions. This has made possible to show that things change dramatically at the operando conditions. To be definite we will here discuss both the synthesis of ammonia and its decomposition. We show that the catalytic process and/or the high temperature induces major changes in the surface properties that enters in a highly fluctuating state. It is then the whole surface that acts as a catalyst and not this or that set of atom.