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The members of the Center for Catalysis and Surface Science (CCSS) have world-class expertise in the fundamental catalysis science of:

  • Synthesis, characterization, and catalytic activity of metal oxides, metal nanoparticles, metal organic frameworks (MOF) and other structures
  • Advanced spectroscopic and theoretical techniques for characterizing active sites on solid surfaces and of reaction intermediates
  • Emergent chemical properties at nanostructured interfaces
  • Reaction mechanisms and reaction networks with photochemical, electrochemical, and molecular/heterogeneous thermochemical catalysts

Some of the challenges to which this expertise is applied include:

  • Abating emissions of NOx or COx pollutants
  • Converting CO2 into useful chemicals
  • Batteries and other electrochemical materials
  • Developing new selective oxidation processes
  • Recovery of useful resources from waste streams
  • Destruction of chemical weapon agents
  • Discovery of new processes for H2 production and storage
  • Designing new routes for chemical upcycling or depolymerization of plastics
  • More selective and less energy intensive syntheses of important chemicals
  • Routes from biomass into important chemicals
  • Petroleum-free routes to transportation fuels

Membership in the center spans across multiple disciplines (chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science and engineering) and draws upon deep expertise in state-of-the-art experimental and computational tools. This transdisciplinary approach allows faculty and students to take on significant problems across all aspects of catalysis and surface science. The highly collaborative nature of the center also provides coordinated educational and mentoring opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows.