Protochips Atmosphere Catalysis Solution Wins Microscopy Today Innovation Award 2019

Protochips’ Atmosphere Catalysis Solution has won a Microscopy Today 2019 Innovation Award. It’s the first commercial in-situ environmental TEM system with an integrated mass spectrometer and gas handling system, specifically designed for catalyst materials research.

It enables you to observe catalyst behaviour at an atomic level, in a wide range of gases for realistic operating environments, with simultaneous high resolution TEM imaging.

Blue Scientific is the official distributor for Protochips instruments in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. For more information or quotes, please get in touch.

Protochips In-Situ Systems

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or info@blue-scientific.com

  

Microscopy Today Innovation Award

Protochips’ Atmosphere Catalysis Solution has won a Microscopy Today 2019 Innovation Award. The awards recognise the most innovative new technology that advances research and makes microscopy more powerful, flexible, productive and easier to accomplish.

Microscopy Today Innovation Award 2019

Protochips Atmosphere Catalysis Solution

The Atmosphere Catalysis Solution is the first commercial in-situ environmental TEM system with an integrated mass spectrometer and gas handling system specifically designed for catalyst materials research.

It enables you to observe how the operating environment affects a catalyst at an atomic level, in terms of:

  • Efficiency
  • Specificity
  • Life span

Improve Catalyst Efficiency

Catalyst efficiency is important for making industrial processes more eco-friendly and working towards a cleaner environment. By understanding the behaviour of catalysts at an atomic level, you can gain insights into how they work in operation, and how they deteriorate over time. This enables you to fine-tune the catalyst for the best results, in terms of specificity and efficiency.

The Atmosphere Catalysis Solution enables you to adjust environmental conditions with a high degree of precision, to study how they affect atomic structure and reactivity. You can then identify weaknesses that lead to deactivation.

Protochips Atmosphere Catalysis System
The Protochips Atmosphere Catalysis Solution incorporates a gas handling system, closed-cell TEM holder (compatible with EDS and STEM) and an integrated RGA designed specifically for TEM.

How Does it Work?

The system consists of a:

  • Closed-cell TEM holder
  • Custom gas handling manifold
  • Vapour introduction kit
  • Integrated Residual Gas Analyser mass spectrometer (RGA)

A realistic operating environment is created inside the closed-cell holder. The sample is held between two micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS) devices that “sandwich” together to form a mini reactor. This can then be safely inserted into the TEM.

You can completely control the environment, including:

  • Gas composition
  • Pressure (up to 1 atmosphere)
  • Flow rate
  • Temperature (up to 1000°C)

Precise heating is controlled by a patented silicon carbide heating membrane. You can set all experimental parameters independently via the software.

Benefits of this Technology

This technique has benefits over alternative methods:

  • Use gases relevant to catalysis development
  • Measure catalytic reactivity at the nanoscale while simultaneously imaging

Wide Range of Gases

Gas handling systems usually have mass-flow controllers (MFCs) that are calibrated to measure a limited range of gases. Only a fairly small selection of gases are compatible.

However, the Atmosphere Catalysis Solution’s gas handling system uses Dalton’s law of partial pressures to accurately measure, mix and flow gases. This opens up the range of gases that you can use, and even enables the use of:

  • Complex mixtures
  • Custom exhausts captured in-house
  • Vapours eg water, alcohols, organics
More about the RGA

Fast Detection for Correlated Data

The RGA is integrated for fast, responsive gas detection and to maintain imaging resolution in the TEM. The gas detector is mounted on the boom of the system, to keep it as close to the reaction as possible. This reduces detection time to less than 3 seconds.

Conventional, external RGA systems take more like 15 seconds to detect gases. Fast detection is essential for accurately correlated data from the TEM and RGA.

Copper Nanoparticles - TEM Images
Redox reduction of copper nanoparticles, observed over time at two magnifications. 50% Ar / 5% H2O / 45% H2 at 400°C.

High Imaging Quality

While electron microscopes are extremely powerful, they’re also highly sensitive. The RGA is completely integrated into the system, which means that its vacuum is supported by the high vacuum environment of the gas handling system. This eliminates the need for the noisy diaphragm pump that’s usually required for mass spectrometry. This pump is often the cause of problems with imaging resolution.

This is the first RGA of its kind, specifically designed for use with highly sensitive TEMs, so it doesn’t compromise imaging quality or resolution.

More Information

Blue Scientific is Protochips’ official distributor in the Nordic area. We’re available to provide quotes and answer all your questions – just get in touch:

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or info@blue-scientific.com

 Protochips in-situ systems

Protochips Atmosphere Environmental Gas In-Situ System
Protochips Atmosphere Environmental Gas In-Situ System