Research Areas

     The Xu lab uses advanced microscopy and spectroscopy to study heterogeneous catalysis and chemical reactions on surfaces and interfaces at an atomic level. The research uses a combination of in situ and ex situ methods to understand and study low temperature heterogeneous reactions, structure-activity relationships, and engineering nanostructures, on metal and metal oxide surfaces. The fundamental science aims to provide insights into addressing issues on environmental, energy, and nanofabrication.

Clear the Air

Heterogeneous catalysis chemically coverts toxic gases into less harmful ones, such as carbon dioxide and water. We aim to find effective reaction sites to promote the reaction at moderate conditions.

Thin films

Thin films present unique properties from the bulk. We prepare thin films in ultrahigh vacuum conditions to study the atomic structures, templating effect, and phase change.

Petroleum Science

Petroleum science has a rich chemistry occurring on surfaces and interfaces. We will develop model surfaces to study petroleum science on a microscopic level, to provide insights in the related fields.