• Understanding reaction mechanisms

    Methyl acrylates by oxygen-assisted coupling of alcohols over gold

    Reaction mechanisms for selective oxidative coupling of alcohols over Au to form methyl esters (ACS Catalysis, 2016, 6(3), 1833)

  • Multiscale approach to catalysis

    Multiscale approach to catalysis

    Employing a multiscale approach to understand, design and optimize mesoscale catalyst architectures and processes.

  • O diffusion on an AgAu(111) surface

    Atomic level understanding of surface processes using quantum chemical simulations (Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016,18, 26844)

  • Influence of van der Waals (vdW) Interactions on catalysis

    Delineating the importance of the role of vdW interactions in catalytic selectivity (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (46), 15243)

  • Surface Chemistry of Ni-Au Single Atom Alloy Catalysts

    Understanding the adsorption properties of Ni-Au Single Atom Alloy Catalysts (J. Phys. Chem. C, 2016, 120 (25), 13574)

  • Weak inter-adsorbates interactions with catalyst surface-Implications for catalysis

    Self-Assembly of Acetate Adsorbates Drives Atomic Rearrangement on the Au(110) Surface (Nature Comm., 2016, 7, 13139)

  • Understanding reaction mechanisms

    AP-XPS for probing reactivity on a single crystal catalyst surface

    Probing chemical state of Ni(111) surface during methanation reaction using AP-XPS (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (40), 13246)

  • Dynamic Restructuring Drives Catalytic Activity on Nanoporous Gold-Silver Alloy Catalysts

    In situ characterization of the dynamic restructuring during the catalytic activity enables catalyst design (Nat. Mater., 2016)

 IMASC Overview

The core of the IMASC research approach is to integrate fundamental studies of model systems with the design, synthesis and testing of mesoporous catalysts spanning a vast range of pressures, temperatures and materials complexity. Theory and experiment are being combined to establish and test general principles that control reactivity and selectivity. Our team focuses on metallic alloy catalyst materials that have dual functionality.  The principal design feature of the catalyst material is to combine a minor amount of active metal that facilitates creation of reactive intermediates with a less active majority phase that transforms these intermediates to desirable products with high selectivity. IMASC research, based on active and inclusive management, is strategically organized into three Focus Areas to tackle some of the most important energy challenges facing the nation.

The IMASC research specifically addresses the grand challenge of “How do we design and perfect atom- and energy efficient synthesis of revolutionary new forms of matter with tailored properties.” The "revolutionary" feature here is the design of catalysts that uniquely combine atomic reactive sites and the host properties to achieve behavior controllably different than that of either individual component.

IMASC Executive Committee

Introducing IMASC Focus Area (FA) 1 Co-Lead

Dr. Robert J. Madix is currently a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University, having spent most of his career at Stanford University.  Over several decades, he has pioneered the use of metallic single crystal surfaces as model catalyst surfaces for the determination of the kinetics and mechanism of complex catalytic oxidation processes using a combination of sophisticated experimental techniques. He has contributed significantly to the understanding of partial oxidation reactions on silver surfaces, the dynamics and kinetics of adsorption and surface reactions and the atomic-scale imaging of reactive processes on surfaces.

As a FA 1 Co-Lead of EFRC/IMASC and a member of the Executive Committee of IMASC, he is involved in most aspects of planning and coordinating of IMASC activities and, particularly co-directing the catalysis effort related to Reaction Mechanisms and Modeling of Active Sites. He is spearheading the investigations into the mechanisms of selective catalytic hydrogenation and oxidation on a molecular scale on well-defined single crystal surfaces and on complex mesoporous materials under highly controlled conditions. He is focusing on relating reaction selectivity to materials composition and structure as IMASC continues to build up a sophisticated general model for these classes of reactions. 


IMASC Young Investigator's Column

Junjun ShanWe are pleased to introduce Dr. Junjun Shan, a postdoctoral researcher in the Flytzani-Stephanopoulos Group at Tufts University. He recently shared his insights in the form of a Q&A.  

  • What is your work in IMASC?

    My work in IMASC focuses on the non-oxidative dehydrogenation of alcohols over highly dilute alloy catalysts under practical catalysis conditions. We have developed various novel highly dilute alloy catalysts, including PdCu, PtCu, and NiCu alloys, and examined their catalytic performance in the dehydrogenation of methanol and ethanol. We have found that PtCu highly dilute alloys are highly active for the non-oxidative dehydrogenation of methanol to formaldehyde and hydrogen in the presence of water vapor as co-catalyst, whereas, NiCu highly dilute alloys exhibit high catalytic activity and catalyst stability in the non-oxidative dehydrogenation of ethanol to acetaldehyde and hydrogen. Read more