Proof of Equivalent Catalytic Functionality upon Photon-
Induced and Thermal Activation of Supported Isolated
Vanadia Species in Methanol Oxidation
What prompted you to investigate this topic?
It is wellknown that aphotocatalyst needs to perform both
the function of aphotoabsorber and of aheterogeneouscata-
lyst. Still, it was an open question whether an active site from
athermalheterogeneous catalyst can perform the same reac-
tion light-induced, provided that it is also aphotoabsorber.So,
we combined our expertise on supportedmetal oxide cata-
lysts, classical heterogeneous catalysis, photocatalysis, and
photo-physics to answer this question for the model case of
supported isolated vanadium oxide species catalyzing metha-
What future opportunities do you see?
Based on the results of our study,wenow know that structur-
ally identicalactive sites can functionboth in classical thermal
heterogeneous catalysis and in photocatalysis. This opens up a
pathway for knowledge-guided design of active sites in the
area of photocatalysis, because we can draw upon the knowl-
edge on the structural requirements for active sites in classical
Do you have any tips for fruitful collaborations?
Stay open-minded and pick your collaborators from very differ-
ent scientific fields. This will allow you to obtain afresh per-
spectiveonyour work and will generate exciting new ideas.
This work was funded by the Mercator Research CenterRuhr,
Project Pr-2013-0047 “Photoactive Oxide Materials for the Visible
Spectral Range”. B.K. acknowledges generous financial support
by the Research School Plus of the Ruhr-University Bochum for
her research stay at Lehigh University.I.E.W.acknowledges finan-
cial supportfrom the Center for Understanding &Control of Acid
Gas-Induced Evolution of Materials for Energy (UNCAGE-ME), an
Energy Frontier ResearchCenter fundedbyDOE, Office of Science,
and Office of Basic Energy Sciences under grant DE-SC0012577.
The front cover artwork for issue11/2018 results from acollaboration between the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (Germany),
Lehigh University (PA/USA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, the University Duisburg-Essen and
the Ruhr-University Bochum(all in Germany). The image shows an isolatedvanadiumoxidespecies supportedonsilica
which performs selectiveoxidation of methanol both photon-induced and by thermalactivation. See the Communication
itself at https://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.201800311.
Bianca Kortewille Prof. Dr.Israel E.
Niklas Cibura Oliver Pfingsten Prof. Dr.GerdBacher Prof. Dr.Martin
ChemCatChem 2018, 10,2325 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH &Co. KGaA, Weinheim2325