Catalysis & Mechanism

Professor Interests
Mark Gordon The Frances M. Craig distinguished professor of chemistry, received his B.S. at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, in 1963 and his Ph.D. at Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, in 1968.
Wenyu Huang Plasmonic enhancement of activity and selectivity of catalysts. The objective is to develop a new strategy based on the strong electromagnetic field generated by photon irradiation of controlled plasmonic nanostructures to enhance the activity or selectivity of metal (i.e. Au, Ag, Cu, Pt, and Pd) catalysts. This new approach could provide energy-efficient ways to control the activity and selectivity of heterogeneous catalysis and reduces the energy consumption in current industrial processes.
William Jenks

Interested in organic photochemistry, reactive intermediates, and sulfur chemistry. Photochemistry can be uniquely interesting from a mechanistic-organic or physical-organic perspective, because photochemical reactions allow study not only of starting materials and products, but quite often of the short-lived intermediates that we write to account for reactions. As a result, you can get a terrifically detailed picture of what is going on in a chemical reaction.

Kirill Kovnir Research in the Kovnir lab are in the broad field of solid state and materials chemistry. Research in his group is focused on synthesis of novel thermoelectric, superconducting, magnetic, catalytic, and low-dimensional materials and exploring their crystal structure, chemical bonding, and physical properties. Understanding the structure-property relationship is a key to the rational design of such materials.
Marek Pruski The group develops and applies transient techniques in solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to probe the chemical and physical properties of materials involved in heterogeneous catalysis, surface science and materials science.
Aaron Rossini Research in our group centers on utilizing solid-state NMR to investigate the structure and composition of systems that are challenging to characterize with conventional techniques. In particular, we will explore the development and application of dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) enhanced solid-state NMR spectroscopy for the characterization of materials. In a DNP experiment the high polarization of unpaired electrons is transferred to magnetic nuclei.
Aaron Sadow The Sadow Group investigates main group element, rare earth element, and transition-metal organometallic chemistry. Our work involves ligand design, organometallic synthesis, development of catalytic chemistry, and study of organometallic reaction mechanisms. These activities are applied in catalytic conversions for chemical synthesis, materials preparations, and energy-related transformations.
Igor Slowing The Slowing group designs multifunctional nanostructured materials to build smart hybrid organic-inorganic devices. We synthesize nanoparticles with precise control of morphology and surface properties, and incorporate organic and inorganic groups at specific domains of the particles.
Levi Stanley Over the past decades, the discovery of new catalyst systems has transformed the way that organic chemists approach the synthesis of medicinally important compounds, natural products, and organic materials. Although catalysis is now a staple of modern synthetic organic chemistry, the demand for new catalysts, particularly transition metal catalysts that lead to greener, more efficient and versatile synthetic processes, remains strong.
Brett VanVeller Our research program aims to develop tools and biomimetic materials to interrogate, understand, and manipulate the interactions that occur between biological building blocks. Synthetic chemistry and the develpoment of new methods underpin all aspects of our research, and we apply the principles of chemistry towards the precise molecular-level design and engineering of these systems.
Javier Vela The group is interested in the fabrication, characterization and properties of novel hetero-structured nanomaterials. Our aim is to develop unique materials and composites that are useful in solving important problems in renewable energy (energy generation, conversion, and storage), catalysis, and biological imaging and tracking.
Vincenzo Venditti In our lab, the structure, dynamics and interactions of enzymatic proteins are studied using a broad range of biophysical techniques. Our experimental approach involves state-of-the-art methods in biomolecular NMR, computer simulations, enzymology, and protein chemistry. Our research is primarily focused on determining how enzymatic activity and regulation are coupled to structural and dynamical features of an enzyme. Moreover, we look forward to applying the information gathered from these studies to the development of new inhibitors and bacterial systems.
Theresa Windus Modern theoretical and computational chemical science is a confluence of mathematics, physics, computer science, chemistry and sometimes biology. It is at the interface between these disciplines where many of the most exciting new developments in the field are being made. The scientific questions being asked demand much more from the theories, the computational algorithms and the scientist's chemical intuition than in previous years.
Arthur Winter The lab uses techniques in physical organic chemistry to tackle challenging problems in medicine. Theory and experiment are used in concert to develop robust, widely applicable tools for biological and biomedical applications.
Keith Woo The research in the group spans an extensive spectrum of chemistry, ranging from organic synthesis of complex ligand systems to physical studies on the kinetics and thermodynamics of new reactions. In addition, they are interested in the synthesis and reactivity of novel coordination compounds and organometallic complexes. Their research is directed towards understanding fundamental transition metal behavior and reactivity in both biological systems and in new materials.
Yan Zhao The biological world has unparalleled abilities to control structures, functions, reactions, and energy transfer with great efficiency and accuracy. They are interested in biomimetic chemistry to "abstract good design from nature." One of their main research goals is to design molecules that functionally mimic certain biological systems, and in turn to prepare molecules, polymers, and materials that have useful and superior properties.