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Neutron Scattering Studies of Heterogeneous Catalysis

Publication Type
Journal Name
Chemical Reviews
Publication Date
Page Numbers
8638 to 8700

Understanding the structural dynamics/evolution of catalysts and the related surface chemistry is essential for establishing structure–catalysis relationships, where spectroscopic and scattering tools play a crucial role. Among many such tools, neutron scattering, though less-known, has a unique power for investigating catalytic phenomena. Since neutrons interact with the nuclei of matter, the neutron–nucleon interaction provides unique information on light elements (mainly hydrogen), neighboring elements, and isotopes, which are complementary to X-ray and photon-based techniques. Neutron vibrational spectroscopy has been the most utilized neutron scattering approach for heterogeneous catalysis research by providing chemical information on surface/bulk species (mostly H-containing) and reaction chemistry. Neutron diffraction and quasielastic neutron scattering can also supply important information on catalyst structures and dynamics of surface species. Other neutron approaches, such as small angle neutron scattering and neutron imaging, have been much less used but still give distinctive catalytic information. This review provides a comprehensive overview of recent advances in neutron scattering investigations of heterogeneous catalysis, focusing on surface adsorbates, reaction mechanisms, and catalyst structural changes revealed by neutron spectroscopy, diffraction, quasielastic neutron scattering, and other neutron techniques. Perspectives are also provided on the challenges and future opportunities in neutron scattering studies of heterogeneous catalysis.