Welcome to the Flaherty Research Group!

The Flaherty Group will move to Georgia Tech in Summer 2023!

Our research focuses on the overlapping topics of catalysis, surface science, and materials synthesis. The goal is to determine the mechanisms of individual elementary steps and competing pathways for chemical reactions important for best utilizing our limited fossil resources and biomass. To unravel complicated networks of reactions, we utilize steady-state kinetic measurements, transient and perturbation techniques, and in situ spectroscopy. With detailed knowledge of how a reaction proceeds we can better design processes and catalysts to selectively promote desirable reactions over the undesirable pathways.

In order to construct develop clear relationships between the composition and structure of catalytic sites and the chemistry they promote, it is critical to use uniform and well-characterized materials. This is achieved using advanced synthetic methods which take advantage of strong chemical driving forces to self-assemble the desired catalytic site.

Projects in our group are motivated by the need to efficiently process recalcitrant petrochemicals, selectively transform biomass, develop alternatives for harmful oxidants, and produce clean burning fuels. Our intention is to make insightful contributions to the scientific community; to explore possible solutions to industrially and socially relevant problems, and to educate and train young researchers.

Recent News

(6/3/2023) Over the weekend, we enjoyed yard games and good food at the Group BBQ at Dave's House! The last one before we relocate to Atlanta at the end of the month!!

(5/25/2023) For our May group event, we brought out our creative sides and painted pottery!

(5/14/2023) Congratulations to our 2022-2023 PhD graduates Tomas, Claudia, and Chris and our Undergrad graduate Anna! This weekend we celebrated their accomplishments with the ChBE Convocation, Group Lunch, and plenty of selfies!

(5/9/2023) To celebrate all of their hard work and to wish them farewell, we had an Undergrad Celebration Dinner! Good luck to Anna who is off to the University of Michigan for her PhD, Drew who will continue doing research at UIUC while finishing his undergrad degree, and Jess who will return in the Fall to continue working with David!

News Page

Recent Publications

[91] Ohsung Kwon, E. Zeynep Ayla, David S. Potts, David W. Flaherty, "Effects of Solvent-Pore Interaction on Rates and Barriers for Vapor-Phase Alkene Epoxidation with Gaseous H2O2 in Ti-BEA Catalysts", ACS Catal. 2023, 13, 6430–6444.

[90] David S. Potts, Chris Torres, Ohsung Kwon, David W. Flaherty, "Engineering Intraporous Solvent Environments: Effects of Aqueous-Organic Solvent Mixtures on Competition Between Zeolite-Catalyzed Epoxidation and H2O2 Decomposition Pathways", Chem. Sci. 2023, 14, 3160–3181.

[89] Claudia E. Berdugo-Díaz, Melissa T. Manetsch, Yang Sik Yun, Jieun Lee, Jing Luo, Xue Chen, David W. Flaherty, "Ester Reduction with H2 on Bifunctional Metal-Acid Catalysts: Implications of Metal Identity on Rates and Selectivities", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023.

Full Publication List

Group Meeting Schedule

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