Heterogenous catalysis is of fundamental importance to the chemical and energy industries and developing next generation catalytic systems will be essential for the transition to a sustainable future. However, comprehensive understanding of the physical processes occurring at catalytic interfaces, an essential criterion for innovation, is a challenge due to difficulties in obtaining atom level insights from modern surface spectroscopies. My research has focused on the development of atomically precise molecular nanoclusters which feature well-defined, substrate-accessible active sites in contact with a [CoSe] inorganic cluster, effectively mimicking a catalytic interface. Using strategies available to molecular chemists I can probe the dynamic substrate/active site/support interactions and gain valuable insights into the processes that govern catalytic transformations at surfaces. I am currently exploring how the edge-support cooperativity can impart reactivity to important intermediates in environmentally relevant transformations.
Advisor: Alexandra Velian – Chemistry