The ultimate challenge in nanoparticle catalysis is the measurement of catalytic turnover - i.e. chemical reaction - on a single, isolated nanoparticle. This is what this project is about.
You will make and investigate micrometer-size cavities on a silicon chip, which are sealed gas-tight with a layer of graphene. The main tools are Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).
The ultimate goal is to isolate a nanoparticle inside such a cavity and measure the reactivity by monitoring the pressure change using AFM and observing the nanoparticle using electron microscopy.
The ability to measure the activity of a single nanoparticle requires a sensitivity approximately one million times better than the present state-of-the-art, so this is truly an ambitious undertaking, but it can be done!
Your project will be an important part of the "ATOMICAR" project (ATOMIC Insight Cavity Array Reactor), which is just starting up now so join the team!
Main prerequisite: Ambition to master several experimental techniques and push the state of the art. Course 10304 is an advantage.