24 February 2009

VCUQatar’s Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. Khaled Saoud Presents Paper at the International Works

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar’s Assistant Professor of Physics, Dr. Khaled Saoud, made a presentation on ‘Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticle Catalysts for Low Temperature CO Oxidation’ at the recent International Workshop on Advanced Materials in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. The workshop was held from 22 to 24 February, 2009.

The three-day workshop, organized by the Ras Al Khaimah Centre for Advanced Materials (RAK- CAM) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, was attended by the world's leading materials scientists and around 100 researchers from 20 countries. It raised and explored critical issues that are affecting the environment while bringing together experts, researchers, and lecturers who presented on Nanomaterials, Materials for Solar Energy, Hydrocarbon Processing, Water Purification, Energy Storage and Environmental Remediation and various other topics in a bid to preserve the environment. Over 65 papers were presented in nanotechnology alone.

Dr. Saoud’s presentation dealt with the ‘Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticle Catalysts for Low Temperature Carbon Monoxide Oxidation’. Low-temperature catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the most important problems in catalysis since even a slight exposure to CO (parts per million) can be lethal. Nanoparticle catalysts are characterized by large surface area, high dispersion and strong metal-support interaction. It was therefore, expected that nanoparticle catalysts would show high catalytic activity for the low temperature oxidation of CO.

Dr. Saoud’s results demonstrated the application of a vapor phase method to synthesize supported and unsupported nanoparticle catalysts for CO oxidation. The method was based on the Laser Vaporization/Controlled Condensation (LVCC) technique. The results indicated that gold (Au) nanoparticles supported on cerium oxide (CeO2) exhibit higher catalytic activity than Au supported on other oxides.

The effect of alloying Au and Cu (copper) nanoparticles on the catalytic activity for low temperature CO oxidation was also investigated. The x-ray diffraction data of Au-Cu alloy taken after the catalysis test indicated the formation of copper oxide (CuO) within the bimetallic nanoparticles, which improved the catalytic activity of Au-Cu alloy nanoparticle.

Dr. Saoud was invited to this conference since he has been doing research in the field on nanotechnology since 1998 and has a record number of publications and patents in this field. More recently, he presented a paper at the Nanostructured Advanced Materials Workshop in December 2008 in Amman, Jordan.

Dr. Saoud has been teaching Physics and Math at VCUQatar since August 2008. Prior to this he was at Intel Corporation, Oregon for three years as Process Technology Development Engineer. He worked as Research Assistant (co-op), R&D, Philip Morris USA, Richmond, VA (2001-2005) and as Application Engineer, Nova Measuring Instruments Inc., Phoenix, AZ. (2000-2001). He was also Research Assistant at Virginia Commonwealth University (1998-2000). Dr. Saoud has a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics and an M.S. Physics/Applied Physics from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond and a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan.

Professor Samy El- Shall, Director of RAK- CAM, said that nanotechnology and nanomaterials would be in the forefront of research at RAK- CAM, along with cutting- edge research in organic hybrid materials, structural materials, magnetic materials and advanced materials for use in energy, water purification and environment. “RAK- CAM will in the first phase create eight interdisciplinary research groups, each consisting of 4-5 scientists including post doctoral researchers and visiting professorship from across the world,” he said. RAK- CAM will also establish research initiatives for undergraduate students in the region thereby enabling them make use of the advanced laboratory facilities at RAK- CAM, apart from special programs for science teachers and high school students in the region.

The papers presented at this workshop will be published in a scientific journal or conference proceeding book.

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