Shining light on the solid–liquid interface: in situ/operando monitoring of surface catalysis
Many industrially important chemical transformations occur at the interface between a solid catalyst and liquid reactants, despite which relatively little attention has been paid to spectroscopic methods for interrogating the working solid–liquid interface. This partly reflects a limited number of analytical techniques that give access to interface-specific information. Direct observation of surface species at catalytic solid–liquid interfaces is a daunting challenge for many in situ techniques due to the low concentration and/or short lifetime of chemical species in dynamic reactions. This review discusses the application of in situ and operando spectroscopies to probe solid–liquid interfaces, with a focus on the resulting mechanistic insight in the context of catalysis for sustainable chemistry.