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New facility for catalysis and materials sciences research at NUS

13 December 2011

Prof Mark Breese (left) and Dr Keith Carpenter unveiling the plaque of the XAFCA

The layout of the XAFC beamline

A new X-ray Absorption Facility for Catalysis Research (XAFCA) is now housed at NUS' Singapore Synchrotron Light Source (SSLS). Set up by the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), a research institute of the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the research facility is a first of its kind in Southeast Asia that is able to perform advanced research on catalysis, materials and environmental sciences.

ICES Executive Director Dr Keith Carpenter said: "The XAFCA facility provides a value proposition for the chemicals industry. Through the study of catalytic reactions, we can understand the behaviour of the active sites during the reaction. By understanding exactly how the catalyst works, the selectivity and robustness can be improved to give higher yield and reduced manufacturing costs in many chemical industries coupled with reduced environmental impact."

Besides catalytic materials, the new facility will also allow the study of other materials with applications in important fields such as electronic, energy storage, batteries and fuel cells.

SSLS Director Prof Mark Breese said: "The opening of the beamline facility marks a milestone for us by expanding our capabilities and integrating with in-situ analysis." He added that the scope of SSLS' analytical applications and number of beamlines have increased since it was commissioned in 1999 and he was confident that this effort would create a vibrant research environment which would drive advancement in synchrotron radiation instrumentation.