University of Cambridge > > Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) > Molecular Adsorption at Metal and Metal Oxide Surfaces: From Corrosion to Catalysis via Functional Biomaterials

Molecular Adsorption at Metal and Metal Oxide Surfaces: From Corrosion to Catalysis via Functional Biomaterials

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The interaction of molecules with surfaces has a huge impact on a massive range of technological applications from biomaterials to corrosion inhibitors and catalysts. Often the ordering and chemistry of an adsorbed molecule will have an influence on the success of a particular material in a particular application. Clearly, the stability and strength of attachment of molecules used to functionalise materials is critical to their success. However, the orientation of molecules and changes to their electronic and molecular structure upon adsorption are also important factors in the functionality of the materials and molecules.

Here I will discuss two main areas of recent research by our group. Traditionally we have used synchrotron radiation to study the adsorption of simple molecules on single crystal surfaces under vacuum conditions. Here I will describe some recent work on biomolecule adsorption with regard to the stability and changes in the electronic structure of the molecules upon adsorption. The second half of the talk will focus on the ultrafast broadband vibrational sum-frequency spectroscopy (vSFS) instrument, which we are developing in Manchester and its application to problems in corrosion, catalysis and pharmaceuticals. vSFS has the advantage that it is inherently surface sensitive and thus surfaces can be studied under more technologically realistic conditions including wet and buried interfaces.

This talk is part of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) series.

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