Developing Heterogeneous Catalysts for the Transformation of Organic Molecules
Heterogeneous catalysis is used in more than 90% of all processes in the chemical industry. Developing new heterogeneous catalysts in which the active site structure is known, characterized, and modular is a challenge, but doing so would offer new routes to chemicals we use every day in an efficient manner.
The Cook lab approaches this challenge by designing the active sites of heterogeneous catalysts with molecular control- we think specifically of the bonds that are formed and broken between the atoms of the surface and the active site (which is usually a transition metal). Using knowledge of organometallic, inorganic, and organic chemistry, we develop structurally new active sites of heterogeneous catalysts, and apply them to the transformation of organic molecules.