US Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Review of Scientific Instruments Volume 75, Number 10 October 2004; DOI: 10.1063/1.1791320


A cell has been designed and fabricated for in situ characterization of catalysts and environmental materials using soft x-ray absorption spectroscopy and spectromicroscopy at photon energies above 250 eV. “Lab-on-a-chip” technologies were used to fabricate the cell on a glass wafer. The sample compartment is 1.0 mm in diameter and has a gas path length of 0.8 mm to minimize x-ray absorption in the gas phase. The sample compartment can be heated to 533 K by an Al resistive heater and gas flows up to 5.0 cm3 min−1 can be supplied to the sample compartment through microchannels. The performance of the cell was tested by acquiring Cu L3-edge x-ray appearance near-edge structure (XANES) data during the reduction and oxidation of a silica-supported Cu catalyst using the beam line 11.0.2 scanning transmission x-ray microscope (STXM) at the Advanced Light Source of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA). Two-dimensional images of individual catalyst particles were recorded at photon energies between 926 and 937 eV, the energy range in which the Cu(II) and Cu(I) L3 absorption edges are observed. Oxidation state specific images of the catalyst clearly show the disappearance of Cu(II) species during the exposure of the oxidized sample to 4% CO in He while increasing the temperature from 308 to 473 K. Reoxidation restores the intensity of the image associated with Cu(II). Cu L3-edge XANES spectra obtained from stacks of STXM images show that with increasing temperature the Cu(II) peak intensity decreases as the Cu(I) peak intensity increases.