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

(11/03/2019) Our work on synthesizing metal-substituted FAU for selective oxidations is accepted by Catalysis Science & Technology. Great work, all!

(10/22/2019) Pranjali presents at the Research Live final! Good Work!

(10/22/2019) David and Ohsung join our group. Welcome!

(10/21/2019) Our latest work on understanding solvent restructuring within Lewis acid zeolites is accepted by ACS Catalysis. Nice work!

(10/18/2019) Jason gives a talk at the ChBE Symposium; Zeynep and Tom give posters. Good Work!

(10/12/2019) Pranjali's work on understanding the type of catalytically-active Pd for direct synthesis is accepted in AIChE Journal. Great work!

All News

Recent Publications

[56] Daniel T. Bregante, Jun Zhi Tan, Andre Sutrisno, and David W. Flaherty, "Heteroatom Substituted Zeolite FAU with Ultralow Al Contents for Liquid-Phase Oxidation Catalysis" Catal. Sci. Tech. 2019Accepted.

[54] Daniel T. Bregante and David W. Flaherty, “Impact of Specific Interactions Among Reactive Surface Intermediates and Confined Water on Catalysis and Adsorption in Lewis Acid Zeolites" ACS Catal., 2019, 9, 10951-10962.

[53] Pranjali Priyadarshini and David W. Flaherty, "Form of the Catalytically Active Pd Species during the Direct Synthesis of Hydrogen Peroxide" AIChE J., Accepted.

[52] Megan E. Witzke,  Abdulrahman Almithn, Christian Coonrod, Mark Triezenberg, David Hibbitts, and David W. Flaherty, "In situ Spectroscopic Methods for Identifying Reactive Surface Intermediates during Hydrogenolysis Reactions: C-O Bond Cleavage on Nanoparticles of Nickel and Nickel Phosphides" J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 16671-16684.

Full Publication List

Group Meeting Schedule


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