Infrared (IR) thermography is a powerful tool to measure temperature with high space and time resolution. A particularly interesting application of this technology is in the field of catalysis, where the method can provide new insights into dynamic surface reactions. This paper presents guidelines for the development of a reactor cell that can aid in the efficient exploitation of infrared thermography for the investigation of catalytic and other surface reactions. Firstly, the necessary properties of the catalytic reactor are described. Secondly, we analyze the requirements towards the catalytic system to be directly observable by IR thermography. This includes the need for a catalyst that provides a sufficiently high heat production (or absorption) rate. To achieve true operando
investigation conditions, some dedicated equipment must be developed. Here, we provide the guidelines to assemble a chemical reactor with an IR transmitting window through which the reaction can be studied with the infrared camera along with other best practice tips to achieve results. Furthermore, we present selected examples of catalytic reactions that can be monitored by IR thermography, showing the potential of the technology in revealing transient and steady state chemical phenomena.
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