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.
(10/12/2018) Jason receives third place in the poster presentation of the ChBE Symposium. Congrats!
(10/12/2018) Pranjali gives a talk, while Jason, Yao, and Abinaya give poster presentations at the ChBE symposium, all were well-received!
(09/06/2018) Dave is awarded the Early Career Award from the American Vacuum Society Prairie Chapter. Congrats, Dave; this is well deserved!
(09/06/2018) Megan and Abinaya are awarded the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Travel Grant to attend the AVS 65th International Symposium & Exhibition held in California this October! Congrats!
(09/04/2018) Claudia, Tom, and Zeynep all pass their Research Qualifying Exams. Good work, all!
 Michael J. Cordon, Jamie W. Harris, Juan-Carlos Vega-Vila, Sukhdeep Kaur, Mohit Gupta, Megan E. Witzke, Evan C. Wegener, Jeffrey T. Miller, David W. Flaherty, David D. Hibbitts, and Rajamani Gounder, “The Dominant Role of Entropy in Stabilizing Sugar Isomerization Transition States within Hydrophobic Zeolite Pores” Accepted, J. Am. Chem. Soc.
 Abinaya Sampath, SiWei A. Chang, and David W. Flaherty, "Catalytic Hydrogen Transfer and Decarbonylation of Aromatic Aldehydes on Ru and Ru Phosphide Model Catalysts” Accepted, J. Phys. Chem. C.
 Neil M. Wilson, Johanna Shröder, Pranjali Priyadarshini, Daniel T. Bregante, Sebastian Kunz, and David W. Flaherty, “Direct Synthesis of H2O2 on PdZn Nanoparticles: The Impact of Electronic Modifications and Heterogeneity of Active Sites” Accepted, J. Catal.
Full Publication List
Group Meeting Schedule