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 Sr. Investigator
Charles Sykes is a Professor of Chemistry at Tufts University. His group utilizes state of the art scanning probe and surface science instrumentation to study technologically important systems. For example, scanning tunneling microscopy enables visualization of the geometric and electronic properties of catalytically relevant metal alloy surfaces at the nanoscale.
As an IMASC Sr. Investigator, Sykes is involved with characterizing the atomic-scale structure of dilute alloy catalysts and using temperature programmed reaction studies of well-defined model catalyst surfaces to draw structure-property-activity relationships. His expertise in development of single atom alloy catalysts in which precious metals can be used at the ultimate limit of efficiency is enabling the design of dilute alloy catalysts at IMASC.