The release of energy to solids following exothermic chemical reactions is ubiquitous in a vast range of phenomena, from the industrial production of chemicals for daily use to the formation of prebiotic molecules in the interstellar medium. Finding new ways to efficiently couple this excess energy to collective surface and bulk vibrations, for example using plasma- or plasmon-mediated reactions, could enable a paradigm shift for enhancing both selectivity and turnover rates in heterogeneous catalysis. Furthermore, understanding how exothermic chemical reactions in space deposit large amounts of energy into icy mantles covering dust grains containing molecular building blocks for life, could help explain the formation of prebiotic compounds.
The aim of the workshop is to bring researchers with different scientific backgrounds together to merge individual research interests into a research agenda. This should highlight the appropriate experimental techniques and theoretical methods that can be used in a complementary fashion to accurately characterize energy dissipation at the atomic level in the coming 10 years.
While the COVID-19 pandemic challenges us all we will make use of the opportunity to nonetheless gather researchers in an online format. If the global and/or local situation allows, a restricted number of people may be allowed on site, to be determined on a short notice.