March 7, 2021

Technical University of Denmark

The Technical University of Denmark was founded in 1829, and it has about 10000 students, 1000 Ph.D. students, and more than 5000 employees. The Department of Physics hosted over the past years several cross-disciplinary centers and initiatives in the field of catalysis, among these V-SUSTAIN and SurfCat.


The general theme of the research at SurfCat (Surface Physics and Catalysis) is the fundamental study of the functionality of nanoparticles with particular focus on reactivity of relevance for catalysis used in connection with energy conversion and environmental protection. The main purpose of SurfCat is to establish a close and unambiguous correlation between the morphology and the reactivity identifying the reactive site.

Research Team

The group consists of 6 senior staff members, 10 postdocs and 16 doctoral students and have access to 7 fully rigged UHV systems, two sputter deposition systems, and is fully equipped for characterization and testing of catalysts in general. Surfcat will host ESR11 and ESR12.


Two setups for mass-selected clusters, equipped with sputter sources and deposition facilities that allow to soft-land a beam of size-selected clusters in a range from single atoms to 10 nm nanoparticles on different type of surfaces or devices. Structural and composition characterization of surfaces on which clusters are adsorbed is possible by XPS, TPD, AES, ISS, STM, AFM, SEM, and STEM. The chemical activity of the clusters/nanoparticles for specific reactions can be studied in either electrochemical setups or in microreactors designed for measuring extremely small amount of catalysts. Structural characterization of individual deposited clusters can be done using scanning probe microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, or synchrotron based methods.