Elucidation of intermediates and mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysis using infrared spectroscopy

Aditya Savara, Eric Weitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Infrared spectroscopy has a long history as a tool for the identification of chemical compounds. More recently, various implementations of infrared spectroscopy have been successfully applied to studies of heterogeneous catalytic reactions with the objective of identifying intermediates and determining catalytic reaction mechanisms. We discuss selective applications of these techniques with a focus on several heterogeneous catalytic reactions, including hydrogenation, deNOx, water-gas shift, and reverse-water-gas shift. The utility of using isotopic substitutions and other techniques in tandem with infrared spectroscopy is discussed. We comment on the modes of implementation and the advantages and disadvantages of the various infrared techniques. We also note future trends and the role of computational calculations in such studies. The infrared techniques considered are transmission Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy, polarization- modulation infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy, sum-frequency generation, diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy, attenuated total reflectance, infrared emission spectroscopy, photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy, and surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-273
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
StatePublished - 2014


  • adsorbates
  • deNOx
  • in situ
  • vibrational spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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