The core of the laboratory includes a team, which is among the world leaders in the field of IR spectroscopic studies of the surface chemistry of powder materials and their interaction with а range of gases. As a result of targeted research, many new surface species and complexes have been identified and characterized. New intermediates and factors favoring a specific reaction pathway have been established, which helps in the design of efficient new catalysts and adsorbents. The results of these studies have been published in over 200 publications in leading scientific journals and have been cited over 10 000 times by other scientists. Recently, in relation with its research projects, the lab team has begun expanding its experimental capabilities. This includes, in particular, the use of thermo-programmed methods such as thermo-programmed reduction (TPR) and desorption (TPD), and adsorption studies aimed at purification and separation of gases in dynamic regimes. The laboratory is equipped with three FTIR spectrometers, three vacuum-adsorption systems, UV-Vis spectrophotometer, devices for catalytic tests and TPR/TPD
The significant external funding attracted by the laboratory under various contracts should be emphasised. These are numerous projects funded by the Humboldt Foundation, Rila, EcoNet and Egude, as well as NATO, BNSF and BAS. At the end of 2017, the team completed its participation in a large-scale European project under FP7 totalling over 10 M€ (M4CO2 “Energy efficient MOF-based Mixed Matrix Membranes for CO2 Capture”). Currently the laboratory team coordinates two projects of BNSF and is a participant in the National Science program E+.
1) Chakarova, I. Strauss, M. Mihaylov, N. Drenchev and K. Hadjiivanov,
Evolution of acid and basic sites in UiO-66 and UiO-66-NH2 metal-organic frameworks: FTIR study by probe molecules.
Micropor. Mesopor. Mater 281 (2019) 110–122.
2) Y. Mihaylov, E.Z. Ivanova, G.N. Vayssilov, K.I. Hadjiivanov,
Revisiting ceria-NOx interaction: FTIR studies,
Catal. Today, 2019, in press.
3) Lagunov, N. Drenchev, K. Chakarova, D. Panayotov, and K. Hadjiivanov,
Isotopic Labelling in Vibrational Spectroscopy: A Technique to Decipher the Structure of Surface Species,
Topic in Catalysis 19-20 (2017) 1486-1495.
4) Mihaylov, K. Chakarova, S. Andonova, N. Drenchev, E. Ivanova, E. A. Pidko, A. Sabetghadam, B. Seoane, J. Gascon, F. Kapteijn and K. Hadjiivanov
Adsorption of CO2on MIL-53(Al): FTIR evidence of the formation of dimeric CO2 species,
Chem. Commun. 52 (2016) 1494-1497.
5) Zdravkova, N. Drenchev, E. Ivanova, M. Mihaylov and K. Hadjiivanov,
Surprising Coordination Chemistry of Cu+ Cations in Zeolites: FTIR Study of Adsorption and Coadsorption of CO, NO, N2, and H2O on Cu-ZSM-5,
J. Phys. Chem. C119 (2015) 15292-15302.
The laboratory also has a wide international cooperation. Collaborative research papers have been published with scientists from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, USA, Czech Republic and others.
The team members have been honored with many international and national awards, such as the Pythagoras Prize, the award of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria, the award of the BAS for young scholars “Prof. Marin Drinov”, etc. Two of the team members are Humboldt Fellows (Prof. K. Hadjiivanov and Prof. M. Mihaylov). Prof. Hadjiivanov is a doctor honoris causa of the University of Caen Normandy (UNICAEN), France, and is a member of Academia Europaea.