• 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.

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    O diffusion on an AgAu(111) surface

    Atomic level understanding of surface processes using quantum chemical simulations

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    Influence of van der Waals (vdW) Interactions on catalysis

    Critical role of van der Waals (vdW) interactions on alcohol reactivity and selectivity on Au and Cu Surfaces

  • 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)

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    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)

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    Modular Design of Mesoscale Catalysts

    New architectures for designed catalysts using AgAu nanoparticles on colloid-templated silica for selective oxidation

  • Fanny

    Structural differentiation of the reactivity of alcohols with active oxygen on Au(110)

 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.




Introducing IMASC Sr. Investigator

faceProf. Joanna Aizenberg is Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science in John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. She is Director of Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology as well as a Core Member of Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Prof. Aizenberg’s research group pursues a broad range of research directions that include biomimetics, self-assembly, crystal engineering, surface chemistry, nanofabrication, adaptive materials and porous composite materials for catalysis, sensing, and environmental applications.

As an IMASC Principal Investigator, Aizenberg and her team are involved in developing, synthesizing and studying new highly-active and selective modular composite heterogeneous catalysts featuring an unprecedented level of control over their porosity, hierarchical structure, nature, amount, and spatial positioning of catalytically active nanoparticles of chosen chemical compositions. The expertise of Aizenberg’s team allows IMASC to deeply engage into rational design of bi- and multi-metallic catalysts for selective oxidations, hydrogenations, and other catalytic processes, whose direction and efficiency can benefit from these novel structures





Upcoming Events

IMASC Young Investigator's Column

Matthijs van SpronsenWe are pleased to introduce Dr. Mathijs van Spronsen, a postdoctoral researcher in the Friend Group at Harvard University. He recently shared his insights in the form of a Q&A.  

  • What motivates you?

    On the nanoscale, surfaces interacting with molecules exhibit a wealth of interesting physics and chemistry. These surfaces are forming a central part in many fields of science, such as catalysis, corrosion, gas detection, environmental chemistry, and astrochemcial formation of molecules. Surfaces in the presence of a gas phase can be analyzed in increasing detail even under severe conditions, which leads to experiments that were previously impossible to conduct, and, as a consequence, lead to surprising discoveries.

  • What opportunities does the IMASC center provide? Read More