Combining Advantages of Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Catalysts

A study to combine advantages of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts is underway in the laboratories of Prof. Steve Tait. Graduate student researchers are working with atomic-resolution scanning probe microscopes and supersonic molecular beams to study the self-assembly and reactivity of novel metal—organic complexes on chemically complementary surfaces. These systems could potentially improve energy efficiency in critical industrial and energy supply processes. Fundamental questions in this study include the selectivity and tunability of the surface-supported complexes (see figure), as well as protocols for efficient assembly of robust structures. This work is currently supported by the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy.