Laboratoire Catalyse et Spectrochimie

The LCS laboratory is a joint research unit (UMR 6506) under the double supervision of the CNRS and ENSICAEN (Caen School of Engineering), whose activities concern the study of heterogeneous catalysis at the molecular scale. LCS has a long tradition of excellence in materials investigation by in situ FT-IR spectroscopy, especially in the domain of catalytic compounds. It was evaluated in 2011 by the French national evaluation agency “AERES” and quoted the best ranking. The team main equipment is constituted of 21 FT-IR systems connected to vacuum or gas flow lines, equipped with specifically developed infrared cells allowing the characterisation of solids in large domains of temperatures and pressures. These systems provide both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the adsorption sites on the surface and in the porosity of the materials, offering a view on the physical-chemical properties of the solids, through the use of adapted probe molecules. In the last few years, LCS has been very active in MOF investigations, providing the first IR study of MOF compounds and participating afterwards to one European and two French ANR projects, notably on CO2 sequestration and separation, whose results have been broadly diffused among the scientific community. The laboratory is presently partner (and Characterisation WP leader) of the FP7 MACADEMIA project on the use of MOFs as catalysts and adsorbers. The long tradition of studies for reaction modelling has given to LCS a specific competence in the investigation of catalytic reactions and processes in real (operando) conditions, coupling the time resolved analysis of the surface of the catalyst (via specially conceived reactor-cells) with that of the gas phase. The use of transient conditions and isotopically labelled molecules also allows to point out the role of intermediates and surface active sites, potentially involved in separation processes. In addition, LCS operates a Raman and an UV spectrometers both adapted and equipped with cells for the studies of solids under gas flow at various temperatures.