Recommendations for improving rigor and reproducibility in site specific characterization

Cody J. Wrasman, Alexis T. Bell, Bert D. Chandler, James W. Harris, Stephanie Kwon, Madelyn R. Ball, Siddarth H. Krishna, Sheima J. Khatib, Praveen Bollini, Yuriy Román-Leshkov, Andrew “Bean” Getsoian, Robert S. Weber, Johannes A. Lercher, Dongxia Liu, Daniel E. Resasco, Jason S. Bates, Jacklyn N. Hall, Edgard A. Lebrón-Rodríguez, Laura Paz Herrera, Justin M. NotesteinJoshua A. Schaidle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Heterogeneous catalysis is driven by the interaction of reactant molecules and the catalyst surface. The locus of this interaction as well as the surrounding ensemble of atoms is referred to as the catalyst active site. Active site characterization attempts to distinguish active catalytic sites from inactive surface sites, to elucidate the structural and chemical nature of active sites, and to quantify active site concentration. Numerous techniques have been demonstrated to provide compositional and structural information about the active sites within a catalyst. However, each technique has its own limitations and experimental pitfalls that can lead to data misinterpretation or irreproducible results. This work aims to provide an overview of the types of data that can be collected, to outline common experimental challenges and how to avoid them, and to assemble relevant references for the most used active site characterization techniques. More broadly, we aim to outline best practices for researchers to collect, interpret, and report active site characterization data in a way that provides the most benefit to the broader catalysis community. Increasing the rigor and reproducibility of active site characterization offers a strategy to better link properties with catalytic performance and to enable the community to develop consensus concerning these relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115451
JournalJournal of Catalysis
StatePublished - May 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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