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Institute for Integrated Catalysis

Yong Yang Joins PNNL's IIC

Yong Yang's research at UCSB was focused in two fields. The first examined metal thin films and nanoclusters on metal oxide or semiconductor supports as model sensors or catalyst surfaces. Characterization of both in situ and ex situ samples was done using XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy), AES (Auger Electron Spectroscopy), TPD (Temperature Programmed Desorption) and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy). Cluster nucleation and size effects were performed along with reactivity investigations with CO, olefins and H2. The second project involved hydride vapor phase epitaxial growth of AlN, which are used for UV-light emitting diodes. XRD (X-ray Diffraction) and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope) analyses were used for characterization.

His research at PNNL will investigate heterogeneous reactions of interest to the hydrogen economy, e.g., reforming and water-gas shift (WGS) chemistries, by measuring kinetic parameters and reaction mechanisms on supported catalysts (Pt, Pd, Cu, Au on oxide supports). The research will rely heavily on a new kinetics and spectroscopy tool nearing completion in the Institute for Integrated Catalysis. Denoted with the generic acronym SSITKA (Steady-State Isotopic Transient Kinetic Analysis), this state-of-the- art tool feeds an isotopically switchable mixture of reactants into a reaction cell containing a high surface area catalyst. The adsorbed species and their time evolution are monitored with raid scan in-situ FTIR transmission spectroscopy while the gas phase (reactants and products) is monitored in real time by mass spectrometry. Switching isotopically labelled reactants without altering pressures or flow rates induces transients in isotopically labelled adsorbates and products that give critical mechanistic insight.

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