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Keywords:

  • epoxidation;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • scanning tunneling microscopy;
  • silver;
  • surface science
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The active state of a catalyst: A high-pressure scanning tunneling microscope (STM) was used to bridge the pressure gap for the Ag-catalyzed ethylene epoxidation. An active oxygen species on an Ag(111) single crystal was characterized under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. The same species was identified with STM in an ethylene/oxygen mixture (see picture). In the STM cell the formation of ethylene oxide was detected.