Nicholas A. Brunelli Catalytic Material Design Group

Synthesis, characterization, and testing of heterogeneous catalytic materials

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Our research focuses on achieving atomic level control of the catalytic active sites in heterogeneous materials using advanced synthetic methods to create novel designs and materials and understand how these novel materials assemble. These materials are interrogated through spectroscopic techniques that enable improved design.  



Currently investigating structure-function relationships to elucidate mechanistic insights into catalytic reactions. This is challenging since most heterogeneous catalysts contain a non-uniform distribution of catalytic sites. We use homogeneous synthesis techniques to create materials with more uniform catalytic sites. Through tuning these materials on the atomic level, we are able to produce more uniform catalytic sites. The uniformity of the catalytic sites enables more active and selective catalysts to be designed and realized. The work has the potential to transform the production of valuable chemicals derived from petroleum and biomass sources.



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