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Keywords:

  • electron microscopy;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • metal–substrate interaction;
  • methanol synthesis;
  • scanning tunneling microscopy

Abstract

Despite its enormous importance for heterogeneous catalysis, and in particular methanol synthesis, detailed information about the Cu/ZnO interface is still far from being complete. Here we present an overview of recent work carried out using different types of microscopical methods from which the complexity of the problem becomes apparent. In addition to results from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) data also obtained using scanning probe techniques, in particular scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are presented. Special attention is paid to the influence of elevated temperatures on the Cu/ZnO interface.