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

(05/14/2019) Daniel is awarded a Dissertation Completion Fellowship! Good Stuff!

(04/22/2019) Yao passes his preliminary exam. Congrats!

(04/16/2019) Jason wins the best poster prize at the Catalysis Club of Chicago's Annual Symposium! Congrats!

(04/16/2019) The group goes to Chicago for the Catalysis Club of Chicago's Annual Symposium! Pranjali, Daniel, Jason, Abinaya, Claudia, and Zeynep all give poster presentations, all were well-received!

(04/15/2019) Jason passes his preliminary exam. Congrats!

(04/2019) Dave is appointed to the ACS Catalysis Early Career Advisory Board. Congratulations!

All News

Recent Publications

[51] Anda Sulce, David Flaherty, Sebastian Kunz, "Kinetic Analysis of the Asymmetric Hydrogenation of ß-Keto Esters over a-Amino Acid-Functionalized Pt Nanoparticles", J. Catal., Accepted. In press.

[50] Daniel T. Bregante, Alayna M. Johnson, Ami Y. Patel, E. Zeynep Ayla, Michael J. Cordon, Brandon C. Bukowski, Jeffrey Greeley, Rajamani Gounder, David W. Flaherty, “Cooperative Effects between Hydrophilic Pores and Solvents: Catalytic Consequences of Hydrogen Bonding on Alkene Epoxidation in Zeolites J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019141, 7302-7319.

[49] 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 J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018140, 14244-14266.

Full Publication List

Group Meeting Schedule


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