New Equipment Expands Testing Capacity of REACT Cluster


An interdisciplinary team of faculty led by Physics Assistant Professor William Kaden, Ph.D. has received funding to bring a new piece of equipment to UCF’s Materials Characterization Facility (MCF). The state-of-the-art Near-Ambient Pressure Xray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (NAP-XPS) apparatus – the only of its kind in the southeast U.S. – is made possible through a $775,000 joint-commitment from UCF and the National Science Foundation. The apparatus will complement a similar device already housed in the MCF, and will allow users to apply common XPS characterization techniques to study the properties of historically forbidden classes of materials within historically forbidden analysis environments. Other members of the winning team are Xiaofeng Feng, Ph.D. (Physics/Materials Science & Engineering); Fudong Liu, Ph.D. (Civil Environment & Construction Engineering); Sudipta Seal, Ph.D. (Material Sciences Engineering); and Laurene Tetard, Ph.D. (Physics/NanoScience Technology Center).

“This award can really be attributed to UCF’s forward-thinking commitment to invest in interdisciplinary research through creation of the faculty cluster initiative,” said Kaden. “Because of this initiative, a number of faculty from different departments with common interests in energy and catalysis research came together and significantly improved our institutional profile through formation of the Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation (REACT) cluster. This greatly strengthened our proposal.”

REACT is dedicated to the research and development of catalytic materials. For laymen, catalysts are foreign substances that can be added to chemical reactions to expedite conversion of reactants into products. The interplay between reaction environment and catalysis is currently of very high interest to the field and introduction of this new apparatus will provide the REACT team with the means to better understand how changing reaction conditions contribute to changing physical properties at the surface of these types of materials when in use.


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