Starting university is an exciting phase for everyone. However, children from academic households exhibit significantly more stress during this period than those from non-academic families. A Swiss-German research team has found this out by analysing the hair of female first-year students. ... more
Catalyst deposition on fragile chips
Electrocatalysts can help to obtain chemicals from renewable raw materials or to use alternative energy sources. But testing new catalysts brings challenges.
Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the University of Duisburg-Essen have developed a new method of depositing catalyst particles to tiny electrodes. It is inexpensive, simple and quick to perform. In order to characterize catalysts and test their potential for various applications, researchers have to fix the particles to electrodes so that they can then be examined, for example, with transmission electron microscopy.
The new method is described by Dr. Tsvetan Tarnev and Professor Wolfgang Schuhmann from the Center for Electrochemistry at RUB with Steffen Cychy and Professor Martin Muhler, RUB Chair of Technical Chemistry, as well as Professor Corina Andronescu, University of Duisburg-Essen, and Dr. Yen-Ting Chen from the Bochum Center for Solvation Science in the journal Angewandte Chemie, published online on 20 January 2020.
In transmission electron microscopy, TEM for short, a thin electron beam is sent through the sample to observe the electrochemical processes taking place at an electrode. In order for the beam to penetrate the structures, all sample components must be very thin. The diameter of the electrode to which the catalyst is applied is therefore only ten micrometers.
Depositing catalyst particles drop by drop
With earlier methods, the catalyst particles were either distributed evenly throughout the sample, i.e. even where they were not needed, or methods were used that could damage the material. Both disadvantages are eliminated with the new method, which is based on scanning electrochemical cell microscopy. The researchers fill a glass capillary with a liquid containing the catalyst particles. They then approach the capillary to the electrode onto which the particles are to be deposited. A tiny drop of the particle liquid hangs at the lower opening of the capillary.
The researchers approach the capillary to the electrode until the drop of liquid comes into contact with the electrode and closes an electrical circuit. This automatically stops the approach, preventing damage to the material. The scientists then retract the capillary, but the drop of liquid remains on the electrode. This step can be repeated as often as required. Finally, the researchers evaporate the solvent so that only the catalyst particles remain, which are now fixed to the electrode.
Suitable for many catalyst materials
“Once the methodology is established, it offers a clean, easy-to-use and variable way of applying and measuring a large number of different catalyst materials stably and reproducibly on liquid cell TEM chips,” says Wolfgang Schuhmann.
- scanning cell microscopy
- transmission electr…
A research team from the Prodi Centre for Protein Diagnostics at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has used infrared (IR) microscopes based on quantum cascade lasers to classify tissue samples of colorectal cancer from routine clinical operations in a marker-free and automated way. Artificial i ... more
Every cell contains thousands of different RNA molecules. In the past, it would have taken many research careers to decipher their structures using traditional methods. But not anymore. Researchers from Bochum and Münster have developed a new method to determine the structures of all RNA mo ... more
Scientists at University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) have substantiated their theory that first life could have begun deep in the earth's crust. In their experiments, structures that were inanimate developed survival strategies within a short time. In the beginning there was the vesicle: A self ... more
The duration of their snapshot relates to one second as one second relates to the age of the universe: In a joint collaboration with Australian Scientist Tim Davis and the Group around Harald Gießen (University of Stuttgart), Physicists from CENIDE have developed ultrafast vector microscopy ... more
- 1New Indication of a Link Between Alzheimer’s and Diabetes
- 2Click... Resistant bacteria caught in the act!
- 3Nanosafety research without animal experiments
- 4The relationship of proteins
- 5Could the blood of COVID-19 patients be used to predict disease progression?
- 6DKSH extends partnership with Bruker in China
- 7Detecting antibodies with glowing proteins, thread and a smartphone
- 8RNA structures by the thousands
- 9Developing new techniques to improve atomic force microscopy
- 10Snapshot of exploding oxygen