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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R30457/01
Title: 3-Dimensional Reconstruction of Catalysts Using Scanning Transmission Electron Tomography.
Principal Investigator: Midgley, Professor PA
Other Investigators:
Thomas, Professor Sir JM Johnson, Professor B Johnson, Professor B
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr W Saxton
Project Partners:
Department: Materials Science & Metallurgy
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 30 September 2002 Ends: 29 June 2006 Value (£): 176,798
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Mar 2001 Materials/Chemistry Interface Deferred
16 May 2001 Structural Materials 16 May Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
In Cambridge there has been enormous advances in the synthesis of heterogeneous catalysts consisting of bimetallic nanoparticles, derived from large metal carbonyl clusters, distributed within a siliceous oxide mesoporous framework. These silicas possess a highly regular structure composed of nanometre-sized channels, and provide superb isolated catalytically active sites in a well-defined manner. The development of such catalytic systems depends critically on a knowledge of the particle distribution in 3 dimensions within the mesoporous framework. Conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) yields only a two-dimensional projection of this arrangement which although valuable can give only partial information. Further if a bright-field image is recorded interpretation is further confused by unwanted phase contrast. In this proposal we aim to use the high angle annular dark field signal recorded under scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) ilium ination.This eliminates unwanted phase contrast and images recorded in this fashion are particularly sensitive to material of high atomic number. We propose to record a series of STEM images at a succession of tilt angles and reconstruct the 3 dimensional distribution of the nanoparticles within the silica framework, using the principles of electron tomography. We will concentrate in particular on the distribution of cobalt-based particles anchored witihin mesoporous MCM-41, which have recently shown remarkable catalytic performance in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of unsaturated hydrocarbons
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