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.