Prof. Dr. Maarten Nachtegaal

Group Leader
Institut Paul Scherrer PSI
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI

Education * Ph.D. in environmental chemistry, University of Delaware, U.S.A., 2003, “The influence of competing sorbents and kinetic methodology on the dynamics and mechanisms of metal reactions in natural systems: A multi-scale approach.”, supervisor Prof. Donald L. Sparks

  • M.Sc. in Geochemistry, University of Utrecht, Netherlands, 1999, supervisor Prof. Bernard H.W.S. de Jong

Current position

  • since 2024: Adjunct professor in the Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zürich
  • since 2008: Group leader ‘in situ x-ray spectroscopy’, energy and environment division, Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland.
  • since 2005: Beamline scientist, swiss light source, Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland

Previous research position

  • 2003 – 2005: Postdoctoral fellow in the soil chemistry group at the Swiss Federal Intitute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland


  • Determining the structure of a catalytic active site in action
  • Improvement of catalytic processes for sustainable energy conversion and chemicals synthesis
  • Solar photon conversion
  • Environmental engineering
Selected recent publications. A full list can be downloaded here.

  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy with time-tagged photon counting. Application to study the structure of Co(I) intermediate of H2 evolving photo-catalysts. 2014. G. Smolentsev , A.A. Guda , M. Janousch , C. Frieh , G. Jud , F. Zamponi , M. Chavarot-Kerlidou , V. Artero , J.A. van Bokhoven, M. Nachtegaal Faraday Discussions DOI: 10.1039/C4FD00035H
  • The electronic structure of matter probed with a single femtosecond hard x-ray pulse. 2014. J. Szlachetko, C.J. Milne, J. Hoszowska, J.-Cl. Dousse, W. Blachucki, J. Sa, Y. Kayser, M. Messerschmidt, R. Abela, S. Boutet, C. David, G. Williams, M. Pajek, B.D: Patterson, G. Smolentsev, J.A. van Bokhoven, M. Nachtegaal Struct. Dyn. 1, 021101
  • Subsecond and in situ chemical speciation of Pt/Al2O3 during oxidation-reduction cycles monitored by high-energy resolution off-resonant x-ray spectroscopy. 2013. J. Szlachetko, D. Ferri, V. Marchionni, A. Kambolis, O.V. Safonova, C.J. Milne, O. Kröcher, M. Nachtegaal, J. Sa. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 51, 19071-19074.
  • Methane synthesis and sulfur removal over a Ru catalyst probed in situ with high sensitivity X-ray absorption spectroscopy. 2013. C.F.J. König, T.J. Schildhauer, M. Nachtegaal J. Catalysis 305, 92-100.