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The Greater Copenhagen Nanoscience Seminar

This seminar series is organized by the three nanoscience hubs located in the Copenhagen-Lund area. The aim is to increase awareness about our mutual capabilities and to inspire collaborations.

The Öresund bridge seen from the Swedish side; photographer: Johan Nilsson/Øresundsbron

Within a radius of just 25 km, the Copenhagen-Lund region features three strong hubs for nanoscience, with complementary strengths, scientific focus and capabilities:

  • the Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen
  • NanoLund at Lund University
  • a cluster of groups at the Technical University of Denmark

Each hub comprises more than 30 research groups from several disciplines and several hundred staff, has developed advanced facilities for synthesis, characterization and fabrication of nanostructures, has a strong track record in translating discoveries into new technologies, and each is heavily engaged in education at all levels.

Our joint vision is to discover, invent and develop nanosystems with functionalities that emerge from the designed interaction between highly controlled and tunable building blocks.

By combining highly controlled building blocks from very different material systems to realize advanced, functional systems, we aim to jointly address challenges that are out of reach for an individual center.

The aim of this seminar series is to increase awareness about our mutual capabilities and to inspire collaborations.


Scheduled talks and topics

25th March 2022 at 15:15 - Advanced functional materials

There will be three speakers, one from each hub (Copenhagen University, DTU and NanoLund).

Speakers and talk titles

Kirsten M. Ø. Jensen, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen and Center for High Entropy Alloy Catalysis: Watching materials form: Elucidation of material formation mechanisms from in situ X-ray studies

Stig Helveg, DTU Department of Physics, Surface Physics and Catalysis: Visualizing chemical processes  at the atomic-scale

Sara Blomberg, Lund University Chemical Engineering and NanoLund: In situ characterization for development next-generation catalysts

Abstracts

Watching materials form: Elucidation of material formation mechanisms from in situ X-ray studies
The development of new functional materials relies on our understanding of the relation between structure, properties and synthesis. While the intense focus on ‘materials by design’ have made it possible to predict the properties of many materials given an atomic arrangement, actually knowing how to synthesize it is different story, and material synthesis methods are to a large degree developed by extensive parameter studies based on trial-and-error experiments. As chemists, we are missing knowledge on some of the mechanisms at play when materials form for rational development of synthesis methods. In this context, in situ X-ray scattering and spectroscopy methods can help elucidate new pathways for material formation. We use especially time-resolved X-ray total scattering, as this technique gives new possibilities for following structural changes in a synthesis, all the way from a solution over amorphous intermediates to crystalline materials. Here, I will show examples of materials formation mechanisms deduced from X-ray scattering experiments, and illustrate how we can use the information for synthesis of catalyst materials.

Visualizing chemical processes  at the atomic-scale
Electron microscopy has progressed extraordinarly for visualizing catalytic nanomaterials at the atomic-scale. Advances in electron optics and detection have made atomic-resolution electron microscopy capable of resolving the three-dimensional surface structure of the nanomaterials. Introduction of differentially pumped electron microscopes and micro-electro-mechanical-system devices has enabled in situ observations of the nanomaterials immersed in reactive gas and liquid environments as well as operando studies by concurrent measurements of catalytic functionality. These developments builds a foundation for new insights into the rates and mechanisms of surface chemical reactions and, in turn, for addressing catalysis of chemical reactions by nanomaterials. In this contribution, I will outline recent electron microscopy advances of atomic-scale visualizations for exploring the dynamic and functional behavior of complex catalytic nanomaterials.

In situ characterization for development next-generation catalysts
The world is at a critical point, where the development of the next generation catalysts to upgrade renewable feedstocks is vital for a sustainable future. An increased number of possible candidates for renewable resources has been proposed over the last decades, where lignin is one of the most promising alternatives. Conventional pulp and paper industries generate a large amount of lignin as a byproduct that is mainly used as low-quality fuel but can be converted to value-added chemicals or biofuel by the use of heterogeneous catalysis. Today, there are no commercial catalysts available for the conversion of biomass, and catalysts used in industry are optimized for fossil-based feedstocks. To further develop catalytic materials that enable efficient and environmentally friendly chemical processes, it is necessary to understand the functional mechanisms of these materials in detail. By the use of synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopy, the catalysts can be probed by high temporal and spatial resolution, which allows for dynamic experiments where the transient phases of the catalysts can be followed in situ. However, achieving information on an atomistic level of industrial catalysts is challenging and we have therefore designed simplified model systems that are studied in parallel with studies of industrial systems. This approach is used in an attempt to bridge the gap between industry and fundamental science and will enable us to tailor the properties of the next generation of catalysts to exhibit maximum efficiency and selectivity in the valorization of renewable feedstocks.

Speaker information

By combining highly controlled building blocks from very different material systems to realize advanced, functional systems, we aim to jointly address challenges that are out of reach for an individual center.

nanostructure with graphene

A cluster of groups at DTU involved in nanoscience

Groups at DTU involved in nanoscience are affiliated to the following departments:

Kirsten Jensen, University of Copenhagen

Kirsten M. Ø. Jensen

Kirsten M. Ø. Jensen is an associate professor at Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen and a co-PI in Center for High Entropy Alloy Catalysis. The work in her group focuses on elucidating the structure of (nano)materials, using especially synchrotron X-ray methods.

Stig Helveg, Professor at DTU

Stig Helveg

Stig Helveg is Director of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Center for Visualizing Catalytic Processes (VISION) and Professor at the Technical University of Denmark.
His research focuses on developing and applying electron microscopy for in situ and operando studies of catalysts under relevant reaction conditions and at the atomic-level.

 

Sara Blomberg, Lund University

Sara Blomberg

Sara Blomberg is an assistant professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Lund University, Sweden. Her research is focused on catalytic processes where she is using in situ and operando X-ray techniques to study the interaction between the catalyst and the reactants. She is designing and studying model systems as well as industrial catalysts and has a particular interest in catalytic processes related to the production of renewables and the conversion of biomass.


Format

In order to achieve effective cross-fertilization, we will test a seminar format of 15 + 5 for three speakers (one from each of the nanoscience hubs), followed by a general panel discussion.


Zoom

The Zoom link will be e-mail to all members of the three research environments. in case you are interested and have not received the link, please contact: Gerda [dot] Rentschler [at] ftf [dot] lth [dot] se


Past Seminars

21st January 2022 at 15:15 - Soft matter, (life sciences) and scattering methods

  • Jacob Kirkensgaard (KU): Probing nanostructure in food and soft matter using scattering methods
  • Ann Terry (Max IV): Opportunities at CoSAXS
  • Jens Wenzel Andreasen (DTU Energy): 3D imaging of soft matter with nanoscale resolution

Short bio of the speakers

26th November 2021 at 15:15 -  Photoluminescence

  • Tom Vosch (KU): Lanthanide up-conversion nanoparticles
  • Donatas Zigmantas (NanoLund): Excitation dynamics in DNA-templated silver nanoclusters
  • Nicolas Stenger (DTU): Photoluminescence of defects in 2D materials

Talk abstracts and short bio of the speakers

24th September 2021: Maria Messing (NanoLund): Designing Nanoparticle-based Materials: From Sparks to Multifunctional Materials
Maria Messing's talk abstract and short bio

18th June 2021: Jesper Nygård (KU): Still going strong - Old nanowires, new tricks
Jesper Nygård's talk abstract and short bio

21st May 2021: Nini Pryds (DTU): Controlling Oxide Heterointerfaces with External Stimuli
Nini Pryds' talk abstract and short bio

19th March 2021: Anders Mikkelsen (NanoLund): Inspired by insects: Nanoscale systems that sense, think and act
Anders Mikkelsen's talk abstract and short bio

19th February 2021: Bo Wegge Laursen, (KU): Super bright fluorescent molecular materials – concepts, challenges and prospective
Bo Wegge Laursen's talk abstract and short bio

22 January 2021: Winnie Svendsen, (DTU): Nanostructures and surfaces for enhanced bio-analysis
Winnie Svendsen's talk abstract and short bio