How could we make sure, that the burning of fossil fuels doesn’t result in acid rains? Could we replace gasoline and diesel all together by producing new, sustainable fuel alternatives? How cheap and efficient could we do this? These are questions that we hope to answer in our work on the fundamental understanding of catalytic nanoparticles.

Why nanoparticles?

Many catalytic materials are scarce and expensive, which makes it very important to utilize them as efficiently as possible. Nanoparticles are perfectly suited for this job, since they have extremely high catalytic surface areas per mass.

Futhermore, the catalytic properies of a material ofen cahnges drastically when it is produces in the form af nanparticles,. In our Group we Work to understand these effects on a fundamental level by producing model systens of size-selected nanoparticles, characterizing them, and testing them for catalytic reactions.

Although our research is fundamental in nature, our goals is to solve real problems in real applications, leading us to frequent collaboration with industrial partners such as Haldor Topsøe. We also collaborate internally with DTU partners, especially DTU CEN, the center of Electron Nanoscopy, which is equipped with world-calss electron microscopy facilities.

Current projects

Briefly summarized, our current research around the following topics:

  • Removal of sulfur freom fossil fuels, using MoS, nanoparticle catalysts
  • Detailed investigations of the methanol synthesis on CU-ZnO/Al2O3
  • Producing sustainable fuels from CO2 hydrogenation on MoS, nanoparticles/clusters
  • Catalyzing methane production from H2 and CO2 on bimetallic nanoparticles

Selcted papers

Mass-selected nanoparticles of PtxY as model catalysts for ​oxygen electroreduction
Patricia Hernandez-Fernandez, Federico Masini, David N. McCarthy, Christian E. Strebel, Daniel Friebel, Davide Deiana, Paolo Malacrida, Anders Nierhoff, Anders Bodin, Anna M. Wise, Jane H. Nielsen, Thomas W. Hansen, Anders Nilsson, Ifan E. L. Stephens, & Ib Chorkendorff
Nature Chemistry, 6, 732–738 (2014)

Oxygen evolution on well-characterized mass-selected Ru and RuO2 nanoparticles
Elisa A. Paoli, Federico Masini, Rasmus Frydendal, Davide Deiana, Christian Schlaup, Mauro Malizia, Thomas W. Hansen, Sebastian Horch, Ifan E. L. Stephens and Ib Chorkendorff

Chem. Sci., 6, 190–196 (2015)

Methanation on mass-selected Ru nanoparticles on a planar SiO2model support: The importance of under-coordinated sites
Federico MasiniChristian Ejersbo Strebel, David Norman McCarthy, Anders Ulrik Fregerslev Nierhoff, Jan Kehres, Elisabetta Maria Fiordaliso, Jane Hvolbæk Nielsen, Ib Chorkendorff
Journal of Catalysis, 308, 282–290 (2013)


Ib Chorkendorff
DTU Physics
+45 45 25 31 70


Jakob Kibsgaard
Assistant Professor
DTU Physics
+45 45 25 32 90