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Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, PAS


Name: Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, PAS

Address: ul. Niezapominajek 8, 30-239 Kraków, Poland



Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences (ICSC) is the only scientific institution in Poland and one of very few in the world specialized in research on catalysis and the physics and chemistry of surfaces. Through research studies combining significant aspects of chemistry, physics, chemical technology, material engineering, biology and medicine, researchers at ICSC are committed to an in-depth understanding of phenomena and material transformations occurring at gas-solid, gas-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces.   

Here, the fundamental theoretical and experimental studies are combined with applied research so that the results obtained are used in the protection of health, environment and cultural heritage, as well as to improve technological processes.

The ICSC currently employs 68 researchers of whom 30 professors and senior PI who lead research and train young collaborators.

ICSC has its own doctoral program in theoretical basis and methods of surface studies and participates in diverse joint programs of Krakow’s educational and research institutions. From 2019 the doctoral studies are conducted within Krakow School of Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Studies. Currently, 34 doctoral students are engaged in innovative research projects making use of our unique instrumentation. 

The Institute has a long-standing tradition of animating research in the field of catalysis and surface science. For over fifty years, ICSC organised the annual National Catalytic Colloquium, a key event for the research community in the field.

ICSC is involved in extensive international cooperation, participating in numerous bilateral international collaboration schemes, as well as research projects of the successive Framework Programmes of the EU and the EEA.

Disciplines: chemistry

Fields of activity:

  • Catalytic processes and advanced materials for sustainable development;
  • Enzymatic catalysis and biotechnology for the production of biodegradable bioplastic materials;
  • Physics and chemistry of surfaces and nanostructures;
  • Nanostructures of soft matter;
  • Physics and chemistry in cultural heritage protection.

Latest achievements:

The researchers at ICSC publish each year over 130 papers in international journals, which are focused on problems from the field of heterogeneous, homogenous and enzymatic catalysis, material science, biotechnology, soft matter, nanotechnology and preservation of cultural heritage. The equipment developed in ICSC was also deployed on the first line of the Polish Synchrotron Center Solaris.  Lately, ICSC increased significantly collaboration with industry (Orlen, Grupa Azoty, PGE, Colorex, Biomed) in addition to the long-standing cooperation with spin-off company Katalizator Ltd. These projects implement new technologies developed in the ICSC in the field of biocatalysis, bioplastics, photovoltaics, diagnostic tests and surface coating. Finally, ICSC has a world-class position in the application of scientific methods to the preservation of the cultural heritage which results in close cooperation with cultural institutions all over the world (e.g. National Museum in Kraków, Warsaw, Gdańsk, Royal Wawel Castle, Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Royal Łazienki Muzeum, Malbork Castle, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Trust, English Heritage, Getty Conservation Institute, Yale Center for British Art).

Research facilities:

  • Laboratories equipped for synthesis and characterization of materials and catalysts (autoclaves, XRD, XPS, LEEM/PEEM at Solaris, Moessbauer spectroscopy, STM, SEM with EDS and XRF detectors, LEED, BETA, FT-IR with probe sorption, TPR, TPD, TPO, TG, DLS, XRF, solid-state NMR, UV-vis with integration sphere, microcalorimeter, catalytic systems for oxidation, reduction and photocatalytic processes with batch and flow reactors with on-line or off-line GC, MS, GC-MS, LC-MS analytics, computer cluster for theoretical modeling);
  • Laboratories equipped for synthesis and studies of soft matter and adsorption phenomena (AFMs, confocal microscope, fluorescent microscope, IR microscope, UV-vis, CD, spectrofluorimeters, plate reader, DLS, ELS, kinetic flow potential, capillary viscosimeters, cyclic voltammetry and RDE systems, QCM-D, SPR, rheometers, tensiometers, high-speed cameras for foam formation and flotation studies, computer cluster for theoretical modeling);
  • Laboratories equipped for biotechnological research (35 and 2x5 L fermenters, incubators, homogenizators, BSL 2 genetic lab, centrifuges, autoclave, FPLC, electrophoresis, RT-PCR, plate readers, LC-MS/MS, microscopes, glove box, UV-vis for kinetics);
  • Laboratory equipped for studies of cultural heritage preservation (universal testing machine for mechanical properties of materials, climatic chambers, Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometer, laser particulate matter counters, acoustic emission monitoring system).

Contact person:

Professor Maciej Szaleniec
Deputy Director for Research
(+48 12) 639 51 01