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Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 1, pp. 243-252

Published online 2010-12-06

Integration of surface science, nanoscience, and catalysis*

Cun Wen, Yi Liu and Franklin Tao

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA

Abstract: This article briefly reviews the development of surface science and its close relevance to nanoscience and heterogeneous catalysis. The focus of this article is to highlight the importance of nanoscale surface science for understanding heterogeneous catalysis performing at solid–gas and solid–liquid interfaces. Surface science has built a foundation for the understanding of catalysis based on the studies of well-defined single-crystal catalysts in the past several decades. Studies of catalysis on well-defined nanoparticles (NPs) significantly promoted the understanding of catalytic mechanisms to an unprecedented level in the last decade. To understand reactions performed on catalytic active sites at nano or atomic scales and thus reach the goal of catalysis by design, studies of the surface of nanocatalysts are crucial. The challenges in such studies are discussed.
*Pure Appl. Chem. 83, 1–252 (2011). A collection of invited, peer-reviewed articles by former winners of the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists, in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry 2011.