February 25, 2021

Paul Scherrer Institut

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. PSI performs cutting-edge research in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health.

Operando Spectroscopy Group (OSG)

OSG studies heterogeneous catalysts, photocatalysts and electrocatalysts using X-ray spectroscopy at SuperXAS beamline of the Swiss Light Source (SLS). It specialises in the design of in situ/operando setups helping to uncover the nature of active sites in (electro)catalysts.

Infrared spectroscopy setups, developed in collaboration with the Applied Catalysis and Spectroscopy (ACS) in the Laboratory of Bioenergy and Catalysis (LBK) at ENE, provide complimentary information about the nature of chemisorbed species on the catalysts surface. A state-of-the-art electrochemical flow cell developed by the Electrocatalysis & Interfaces group of the Electrochemistry Laboratory (LEC) allows XAS-characterization of electrocatalysts under operando conditions.

Research Team

OSG consists of 3 senior staff members, 1 postdoc, 4 doctoral students, and 2 technicians. ACS consists of 2 senior staff members, 1 postdoc, 3 doctoral students, and 1 technician. The Electrocatalysis and Interfaces group consists of 3 senior staff members, 6 postdocs, and 10 doctoral students. OSG and ACS will host ESR9 and ESR14.


OSG manages the SuperXAS beamline at SLS synchrotron. OSG and ACS are equipped with catalytic reactors, gas mixing setups, mass spectrometers, gas chromatographs, and infrared spectrometers. Operando XAFS and IR reactors for characterization of powder catalysts are available but need to be optimized for high-pressure experiments. In situ setups in grazing incidence geometry for studies of clusters on flat supports under TC and EC conditions on will be developed within this project. ACS has an infrared spectrometer for reflection-absorption measurements. LEC is fully equipped with the electrochemical and analytical hardware (cells, potentiostats, gas chromatography and online electrochemical mass spectrometry setups) needed for CO2-electroreduction studies.