Study level

  • PhD


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Konstantin Faershteyn
Research Associate
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science
Distinguished Professor Dmitri Golberg
Professor & Australian Laureate Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science
Dr Chao Zhang
Research Officer (In-situ Transmission Electron Microscopy)
Division / Faculty
Academic Division


The systematic and detailed characterisation of heterogeneous catalysts is critical for design of effective and stable catalytic materials, since it allows one to understand the correlation between their structure and physicochemical properties.

Especially, it is important to monitor the structural evolution of catalytic materials and their active sites in a controllable environment and under realistic reaction conditions.

Thus, we propose to use a powerful combination of aberration-corrected high-resolution TEM and in situ TEM experiments which allow us to gain extensive knowledge about structure‐activity relationships, reaction mechanism and active site evolution under various experimental conditions.

Research activities

Our group has a unique experience and all the required instrumentation for conducting this state-of-the-art research as well as developing new experimental approaches that will be applicable for various catalytic materials.

All experiments will be conducted by means of a brand-new double-aberration-corrected JEOL-200ARM “NeoARM” Super-TEM, which enables atomic-resolution imaging in a wide range of accelerating voltages (30-200 kV) and incoming electron pulses.

Imaging at a low voltage of 30 kV will be advantageous since it allows us to examine beam sensitive catalytic materials.

Electron gun or TEM will be modulated by a 10 MHz electrostatic beam deflector, so experiments with a temporal resolution in microsecond range will be possible.

In addition, we plan to use the unique capabilities of “NeoARM” TEM in both TEM and STEM modes for characterisation of single‐atom catalysts.



The project aims to study several model systems for:

  • in situ heating tests
  • liquid cell
  • electrochemical tests
  • optoelectronic experiments.

Key outcomes:

  1. Uncovering information on stability, structure‐activity relationship and other physicochemical properties for these emerging catalytic materials will be the key outcome of the proposed project, allowing us to publish scientific papers in Q1 journals.
  2. Another important result will be the development of the unique experimental approaches which allow one to gain insightful understanding of realistic catalytic properties of various emerging materials.

Skills and experience

You must have a background in:

  • physics
  • chemistry, or,
  • materials science.

You are expected to start ideally in December 2021.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions open to onshore applicants only.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



Contact Dr Chao Zhang for more information.