The importance of chiral molecules in all biological systems makes it highly desirable to find ways of producing such molecules by heterogeneous catalysis. As a consequence, the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in research into chiral surface systems. Achiral surfaces can be modified with chiral organic molecules to create enantio-selective reaction environments, which lead to the production of only molecules of one chirality. We use synchrotron-based spectrocopies, such as XPS and NEXAFS, alongside LEED and temperature-programmed desorption to characterize the thermal stability, bond coordination and orientation of modifier molecules on achiral and intrinsically chiral model catalyst surfaces. The talk will concentrate on small chiral amino acids (e.g. alanine, serine) on Cu and Ni surfaces and discuss approaches to model more realistic (ambient-pressure) reaction environments.
Introduction of the speaker:
Georg Held is the Professor of Surface Chemistry, University of Reading and Diamond Light Source, UK. Georg Held’s research interests focus on fundamental aspects of heterogeneous catalysis, in particular structure-functionality relationships at surfaces. His current research investigates the surface chemistry of small bio-relevant molecules (e.g. amino acids) and water on metal surfaces, chiral modification, and the geometries and the electronic structure of surfaces alloys and thin oxide films under reaction conditions. GH has published over 100 journal and book articles and has been invited to give lectures in universities and research institutions, as well as at national and international conferences throughout Europe, USA and China.
Organizer: National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory