Conference organizers
Bert Weckhuysen
Utrecht University, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, NL
Ward van der Stam
Utrecht University, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, NL
Florian Meirer
Utrecht University, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, NL
Invited Speakers
Simon Bare
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, US
Andrew Beale
Department of Chemistry, University College London, GB
James Durrant
Imperial College London and Swansea University, GB
Elad Gross
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, IL
M. Olga Guerrero-Perez
Universidad de Málaga, ES
Beatriz Roldan Cuenya
Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, DE
Atsushi Urakawa
Department of Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands, NL
Matthias Waegele
Boston College, US
Important Dates
Early registration deadline: 14th December 2020
Abstracts submission deadline (oral): 2nd December 2020
Abstracts submission deadline (poster): 14th December 2020
Scientific program: 7th December 2020
Developing countries

If you are in an institution whose country is listed as "Developing country" (see here), contact us before registration and we will send you a reduced fee ticket (Deadline Decenber 14th).

For any further information we are glad to support at 

Note: Applications will only be accepted for participants who use the official email of their institution.

Group Registration

If your Department would like to register as a group, please contact us at to find out more about our special deals.

ePoster and contributed Talk Prizes
  • 🏅 Eposter Prize: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP)  - Voucher 100 pounds
  • 🏅 Catalysis, Science and Technology - Voucher 100 pounds
Prizes sponsored by


Online Conference

You are invited to participate in Operando Characterization of Catalysts at Work (OperCat). It will take place from December 17th to 18th, at 09:00 UTC (10:00 CET-Berlin-Paris).

OperCat is an online conference in which we want to focus on the state-of-the-art, current efforts and future developments in the field of in situ/operando spectroscopy and characterization methods in order to visualize molecules and atoms at the surface of a working catalyst. With this online seminar, we want to build bridges between different efforts and move toward combinations of spectroscopy, microscopy, scattering and diffraction techniques that will result in a full understanding of the catalyst at work in space and time: from the nanoscale active sites to the dynamics of bound intermediates to the production of value-added compounds on industrial scales.

Heterogeneous catalysts play a pivotal role in our society, since they enable the production of chemicals that we rely on every day. The search for new and improved catalysts to speed up and access novel chemical reactions is a never-ending endeavor, but has become increasingly important due to the environmental challenges that we are currently facing. Improved understanding of the catalytic performance is crucial for the development of better catalyst materials on our path toward a more sustainable future by 2050. For this purpose, constant improvements in catalyst preparation methods are required in general, but more specifically, improvements in (operando) characterization tools with increased spatiotemporal resolution is the key toward tailored catalytic reactions. In an ideal case, a real time visualization of the reactants, intermediates and reaction products on the surface of the catalyst, as well as the surface and electronic structure of the catalyst, is possible, allowing for a molecular movie of the catalytic reaction in space and time. Certain characterization techniques exist that are sensitive enough to measure the reactants at the reaction surface of the catalyst (e.g. vibrational micro-spectroscopy). However, in order to really understand the catalytic behavior, we need to move toward single molecules and atoms at the (sub)nanometer scale (e.g. single molecule fluorescence and scanning probe techniques). Improvements in this direction have already led to an increased understanding of the catalytic processes, but the combination of nanometer resolution in space and pico- to nanosecond resolution in time has remained largely elusive in the world of catalysis.

In this online conference, the state-of-the-art of this field will be discussed, as well as future directions that might be pursued. Emphasis will be also on the technical and practical aspects of e.g. cell design to properly measure catalysts at work.

Important questions that we wish to answer in this online conference: What are the newest developments in operando characterization techniques for elucidation of catalytic processes? What are the limiting factors for the application of time and space resolved operando techniques? What future developments are needed to visualize molecules and atoms in action through operando methods? How should operando measurement cells be designed to unravel information on the active sites and potential reaction intermediates?

Topics to be covered by the conference:
  • Operando spectroscopy and microscopy for catalysis
  • Operando spectroscopy and microscopy in thermocatalysis
  • Operando spectroscopy and microscopy for photo- & electrocatalysis
  • Instrumental advances in operando spectroscopy and microscopy
What do I need to join?

In order to register to the conference, you need to sign up at nanoGe and buy your ticket.

Submit your contribution

Once you are registered you will be able to submit your contribution in the ‘Abstract Submission’ tab. You can submit:

  • Contributed Talk
  • ePoster

After the program is published, the oral abstracts not accepted as Contributed Talk can be presented as an ePoster. Please read the ‘Instructions for Authors’ tab.

Please check the submissions’ deadlines.

Login and join the conference

The scheduled date once logged into nanoGe,click the ‘Virtual Room’ tab (only available for registered users). In this tab you will find the live sessions and prerecorded contents available at any time:

  • Live sessions: the invited speakers’ session are a live broadcast. You will see a chat for participant’s interaction.
  • Pre-recorded contents: contributed talks are offered as pre-recorded video presentations. These can be found at the ‘Virtual Room’ tab.
  • Interaction with the authors:

Chat: Each video presentation has a chat available to ask questions.

Live Q&A Session: Live Discussion where the authors will respond the questions.

  • ePoster Session: It takes place in a chat platform, available from the ‘Virtual Room’ tab.
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