This group is extending the application of ultrabright, high coherence electron sources to the study of surface reaction dynamics. With the advent of graphene, we now have an atomic layer TEM grid for support of specifically engineered 2D materials in which material properties are chemically engineered. Various methods in constructing layered materials are being explored along with robotics to construct large surface area “movie film” to record atomic motions during photoinitiated structural dynamics. Of greatest interest is the use of this new modality to probe surface catalysis, with photocatalysis being of prime importance. This approach also allows the construction of well defined media for probing fundamental issues of reaction dynamics using classic chemical reactions. This group is also involved in the development of nanotip sources to generate fully coherent electron beams for holographic reconstruction of reactive intermediates and complete mapping of reaction pathways under well defined conditions.
This area of research will be able the exploration of dimensional confinement on molecular dynamics and reactions in which the level of control approaches that of a single atomic/molecular layer.