Savannah Turner

Savannah Turner

PhD candidate
University of Utrecht

Savannah Turner


Materials Chemistry and Catalysis

Contact information

David de Wied Gebouw

Email address

Key expertises

heterogeneous catalysis, materials science, in situ gas phase transmission electron microscopy, catalyst preparation, in situ liquid phase transmission electron microscopy

About me

Savannah Turner received her MChem in Chemistry with Mathematics from the University of St Andrews in 2018. During her studies she became heavily involved in electron microscopy working on perovskite based catalysts for electrochemical cells and zeolite crystal growth mechanisms. She is currently undertaking a PhD in the Materials Chemistry and Catalysis group at Utrecht University where she pioneered in situ gas phase TEM for the study of the synthesis of supported metal catalysts under the supervision of Prof. Krijn de Jong and Prof. Petra de Jongh in collaboration with BASF

About my research

Catalysts in the form of metal nanoparticles supported on an inert material are involved in the production of 90% of chemicals by volume worldwide, however the design and synthesis of these catalysts is still predominantly trial and error based. A fundamental challenge to the rational design of such catalysts is that nanoparticles are so small they can only be observed using techniques such as electron microscopy performed under ultra high vacuum conditions at room temperature. New technology enables us to introduce small amounts of liquids and gasses in the vicinity of the sample and vary the temperature of the sample inside the microscope so as to observe the processes occurring on the nanoscale. I apply this technique to the synthesis of nickel based catalysts, and record movies of the particles nucleating and growing from which we can extract information to facilitate rational catalyst synthesis design.