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Welcome to the Flaherty Research Group!

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

(9/2017) All three now-second years (Abinaya, Jason, and Yao) pass their Oral Qualifying Exams! Good job, all!


(7/2017) A publication by Andy and Vivek on the mechanism for C-C and C-O bond cleavage in Acetic Acid over Ru and P-doped Ru is accepted by J. Catal. Great job!


(7/05/2017) Andy and Vivek's work on the effects of phosphorous on C-H, C-C, and C-O bond cleavage is published by the J. Vac. Sci. Tech. Good work!

All News

Recent Publications

[39]  SiWei A, Chang, Vivek Vermani, and David. W. Flaherty, "Effects of Phosphorus on Bond Rupture in Acetic Acid Decomposition over Ru (0001) and Px-Ru(0001)," J. Catal. 2017, 353, 181-191.

[38]  SiWei A, Chang, Vivek Vermani, and David. W. Flaherty, "Effects of Phosphorus and Alkyl Substituents on C-H, C-C, and C-O Bond Rupture within Carboxylic Acids on Ru(0001)"J. Vac. Sci. Tech. 2017, 35, 05C309.

[38]  Daniel T. Bregante and David W. Flaherty, "Periodic Trends in Olefin Epoxidation over Group IV and V Framework Substituted Zeolite Catalysts: A Kinetic and Spectroscopic Study" J. Am. Chem. Soc.  2017, 139, 6888-6898.

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