Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry
Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences was established in 1968 as the only independent scientific institution in Poland, and one of only eight in the world, devoted entirely to the research in catalysis and chemistry of interfaces. Among 60 persons of scientific staff of the Institute there are 16 professors and associate professors (docent) specialising in various aspects of catalysis, surface chemistry and colloid science.
The activities of the Institute cover the interdisciplinary field of the physical chemistry of phenomena occurring at solid/gas, liquid/gas and solid/liquid interfaces. The Institute integrates fundamental theoretical and experimental studies and combines them with applied research whose results can be directly used to improve technological processes. About one third of the research activities is connected with colloid and interface science. The main topics of expertise are: transport phenomena in colloid systems; colloid and nano- particle adsorption, formation of composite coatings; adsorption of polymers and polyelectrolytes; surface and electric properties of polyelectrolyte layers; interactions in disperse systems and their stability; electrokinetic phenomena; surfactant systems, adsorption, wetting; electrochemistry and photocatalysis.
The Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry has developed very good experimental facilities for the purpose of research on colloids and interfaces, which include a lab for synthesis and characterization of nano- and micro- colloid particles equipped with particle sizers (Coulter counter, N4 Plus DLS, Beckman-Coulter Laser Diffractometer), zetameters (Zeta-Pals Brookhaven, Nano-Zs Malvern), streaming potential and surface conductivity cells, and capillary viscometers. Other instruments for interfacial research include: EP3 Imaging Ellipsometer, drop shape tensiometers, KSV surface potential, NIKON and ZEISS fluorescent microscope (with TIRF), a number of optical microscopes equipped with image analysing systems and three computerized systems for electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (Solartron, Zahner and Autolab). Facilities for surface characterization include Ultra High Vacuum STM/LEED/AES/UPS/XPS, AFM. ICSC has access to the supercomputer in Cracow Academic Computing Centre CYFRONET.