Catalysis is an essential technology for the formation of environmentally friendly, alternative feedstock. To uncover the full potential of heterogeneous catalysis for energy applications, we use architecturally-designed catalysts with atomic level control over their catalytically active site and its surroundings. Employing a bottom-up approach, we specifically design the properties of catalysts to activate designated bonds within a reactant molecule for the formation of desired products. We are mainly interested in selective formation and dissociation of C-C and C-X bonds, reactions which are highly desirable in alternative feedstock formation process.

In order to get a precise picture of the catalytic reaction, we combine the synthesis of catalytic nanostructures and testing their catalytic properties with advanced in-situ IR, Raman and X-ray spectroscopy. These capabilities enable us to reveal the mechanism of catalytic reactions, which is critical for the further optimization of the catalytic process. In the group we integrate knowledge and capabilities from the fields of materials science and physical chemistry along with inorganic and organic synthesis. The combination of these resources gives us a unique perspective and high level of control over the reactivity and selectivity of catalysts for a viable energy future.