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A miniature (1 ml volume) reaction cell with transparent X-ray windows and laser heating of the sample has been designed to conduct X-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of materials in the presence of gases at atmospheric pressures. Heating by laser solves the problems associated with the presence of reactive gases interacting with hot filaments used in resistive heating methods. It also facilitates collection of a small total electron yield signal by eliminating interference with heating current leakage and ground loops. The excellent operation of the cell is demonstrated with examples of CO and H2 Fischer-Tropsch reactions on Co nanoparticles.

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