Understanding the interaction between surfaces and their surroundings is crucial in many materials-science fields, such as catalysis, corrosion, and thin-film electronics, but existing characterization methods have not been capable of fully determining the structure of surfaces during dynamic processes, such as catalytic reactions, in a reasonable time frame. We demonstrate an X-ray-diffraction–based characterization method that uses high-energy photons (85 keV) to provide unexpected gains in data acquisition speed by several orders of magnitude and enables structural determinations of surfaces on time scales suitable for in situ studies. We illustrate the potential of high-energy surface X-ray diffraction by determining the structure of a palladium surface in situ during catalytic carbon monoxide oxidation and follow dynamic restructuring of the surface with sub-second time resolution .
Johan Gustafson, Mikhail Shipilin, Chu Zhang, Andreas Stierle, Uta Hejral, Uta Ruett, Olof Gutowski, Per-Anders Carlsson, Magnus Skoglundh and Edvin Lundgren
Science, 343 (2014) 758,