Irene Groot investigates the structure-activity relationship of catalysts under industrial conditions using operando scanning probe microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and surface X-ray diffraction. She focuses on industrial processes related to sustainable energy and materials production.
Irene Groot was born in Amsterdam. In 1999 she moved to Leiden to study chemistry. During her studies she did two research projects. The first one was performed at Leiden Observatory in the group of Ewine van Dishoeck. Here, Irene studied the physical behavior of CO and CO2 ices under interstellar conditions. Infrared spectra of the ices obtained in the laboratory were compared to spectra from space, thereby shedding light on the composition of ices present in the interstellar medium.
Irene performed her second research project at the University of California, Santa Barbara (USA) in the group of Alec Wodtke. Here, she participated in designing and building an ultrahigh vacuum set-up for the studies of inelastic scattering of HCl from Au(111) using supersonic molecular beams and resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization spectroscopy.
After returning to Leiden, Irene started her PhD in 2005 under the supervision of Aart Kleyn and Geert-Jan Kroes. In this project she investigated the dissociation of hydrogen on bare and CO-precovered ruthenium, and on stepped platinum surfaces. This research was performed both experimentally, using supersonic molecular beams, and theoretically, using density functional theory and dynamics calculations.
After obtaining her PhD in 2009, Irene moved to the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, where she worked as a postdoc with an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship in the group of Hajo Freund. Here, Irene investigated the CO oxidation reaction in the mbar regime on metal oxide model catalysts using scanning tunneling microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and gas chromatography.
In 2013 Irene obtained a Veni fellowship, with which she started working at the Leiden Institute of Physics in the group of Joost Frenken. Here, she studied the chlorine production reaction on ruthenium dioxide catalysts using high-pressure, high-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. When Joost Frenken left at the end of 2013, Irene took over the catalysis activities of the group, including operando scanning probe microscopy, surface X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and optical microscopy.
In July 2015, Irene moved to the Leiden Institute of Chemistry where she held a tenure-track position in the Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Group to continue her research in heterogeneous catalysis using imaging techniques under industrial conditions of high pressures and temperatures. As of June 2018, Irene obtained tenure and she is now associate professor.
Date of birth: 23 December 1980
2009 PhD, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands, 10 December 2009. Thesis title: “The fight for a reactive site”
Advisors: Prof. A.W. Kleyn and Prof. G.J. Kroes
2005 MSc in Chemistry, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Current and previous research positions
2018 – now Associate Professor (tenured), Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2015 – 2018 Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2014 – 2015 Research Assistant Professor, Leiden Institute of Physics, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2013 – 2016 Postdoctoral researcher (Veni), Leiden Institute of Physics, Leiden University (Prof. J.W.M. Frenken)
2010 – 2012 Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Berlin, Germany (Prof. H.J. Freund)
Grants, awards, recognitions since 2010
2018 NWO Vidi Fellowship (kE 800)
2016 EU FET Open Grant ‘LMCat’ (programme leader) (k€ 652)
2016 NWO-CW NCI-TA Grant with B.M. Weckhuysen (Utrecht), Shell, DSM-Resolve and LPM (k€ 447)
2016 ESRF PhD student grant (k€ 102)
2016 NWO-EW Supercomputing grant
2016 July and November: Beam time at ESRF Grenoble
2015 NWO-CW CatC1Chem Grant with L.B.F. Juurlink (k€ 267)
2015 NWO-EW Supercomputing grant
2015 Beam time at ESRF Grenoble
2015 Finalist Gerhard Ertl Young Scientist Award
2012 NWO/STW Veni Fellowship (k€ 250)
2012 Qualified in global competition to visit the Lindau Noble Laureate Meeting
2010 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (k€ 80)
Contribution to teaching and supervision
- Courses for MSc Chemistry and Physics at Leiden University: Heterogeneous Catalysis, Catalytic Surface Science, and Surface Science.
- Course for HRSMC PhD and MSc students: Methods in Inorganic Chemistry
- Courses for Pre-University College at Leiden University
Co-supervision of 9 PhD students and 2 postdoctoral fellows since 2010.
Other responsibilities since 2010
- Editor of the book: Operando research in heterogeneous catalysis, editors J.W.M. Frenken and I.M.N. Groot, Springer Verlag, in press
- Chair of the symposium Catalytic Surface Science of the Condensed Matter Division Meeting of the European Physical Society in Groningen, 3-9 September 2016
- Chair of the jury of the poster prize at Physics@FOM 2016
- Programme committee of European Conference on Surface Science 2016
- Chair of the Gordon Research Seminar Dynamics at Surfaces, 2011
- External member to PhD committee in Sweden
- Reviewer for Science, Nature Communications, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Catalysis, Review of Scientific Instruments, Catalysis Today, New Journal of Physics, and Surface Science
- Reviewer for Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
Publication record including five recent representative publications
33 papers with >400 citations, H-index 14 (Web of Science)
Full publication record: Leiden University
- Spronsen M.A. van, Frenken J.M.W., Groot I.M.N., Observing the oxidation of platinum. Nature Comm. 2017, 8, 429.
- Spronsen M.A. van, Frenken J.M.W., Groot I.M.N., Surface science under reaction conditions: CO oxidation on Pt and Pd model catalysts. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2017, 46, 4347-4374.
- Mom R.V., Rost M.J., Frenken J.W.M., Groot I.M.N., Tuning the properties of molybdenum oxide on Al2O3/NiAl(110): metal versus oxide deposition. J. Phys. Chem. C. 2016, 120, 19737-19743.
- Spronsen M.A. van, Baarle G.J.C. van, Herbschleb C.T., Frenken J.W.M., Groot I.M.N., High-pressure operando STM studies giving insight in CO oxidation and NO reduction over Pt(110). Catalysis Today. 2015, 244, 85.
- Martynova Y., Liu B.-H., McBriarty M.E., Groot I.M.N., Bedzyk M.J., Shaikhutdinov S., Freund H.-J., CO oxidation on ZnO films on Pt(111) at near-atmospheric pressures. J. Catal. 2013, 301, 227-232.
Presentations including five presentations at international conferences since 2014
~20 invited presentations at universities, companies and institutes, and invited, keynote and plenary lectures at international conferences since 2009
- American Chemical Society Meeting (April 2017)
- Netherlands Catalysis and Chemistry Conference (March 2016)
- American Chemical Society Meeting (August 2015)
- Annual meeting of the German Physical Society (March 2015)
- American Vacuum Society Meeting (November 2014)
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