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
Moniek Tromp
Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, NL
Atsushi Urakawa
Department of Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands, NL
Matthias Waegele
Boston College, US
ePoster and contributed Talk Prizes

    🏅Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP) Eposter Prize winner: Arthur Shih
    🏅 Catalysis, Science and Technology Oral contibution Prize winner: Rachit Kare
    🏅 Chemistry Europe ePoster prize winners: Arianna Marchioro & Sergey Soldatov
    🏅 Chemistry Europe Oral contribution prize winners: Bettina Baugartner & Moritz Wolf

Prizes sponsored by


Online Conference

Operando Characterization of Catalysts at Work (OperCat). This conference took place on the 17th and 18th December. 

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 answered 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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