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.
(1/6/2021) Check out our latest work at ACS Applied Polymer Materials on the effects of oxygen plasma treatments on carbon fiber composites! Excellent and exciting work by Yao and collaborators!
(10/19/2020) Congratulations, Dr. Pranjali!
(10/13/2020) We welcome Richa, Jieun, and Matthew to the group!
(09/01/2020) We have multiple positions for new graduate students or post-doctoral researchers to join. Please see the “Open Positions” page for more information.
(08/28/2020) Zeynep and Abinaya win poster awards at the CCC Symposium 2020. Congrats!
(08/12/2020) Our work on the Consequences of Oxidant, Alkene, and Pore Structure on Epoxidation is accepted in ACS Catal. Congrats!
 Zhongyao Zhang, Jennifer Wilson, Brian Kitt, David Flaherty, “Effects of Oxygen Plasma Treatments on Surface Functional Groups and Shear Strength of Carbon Fiber Composites” ACS Appl. Polym. Mater. 2021.
 Daniel T. Bregante, David S. Potts, Ohsung Kwon, E. Zeynep Ayla, Jun Zhi Tan, David W. Flaherty, "Effects of Hydrofluoric Acid Concentration on the Density of Silanol Groups and Water Adsorption in Hydrothermally Synthesized Transition Metal Substituted Silicalite-1" Chem. Mater. 2020, 32, 7425-7437.
 SiWei A. Chang, Abinaya Sampath, and David W. Flaherty,“The Effects of P-Atoms on the Selective Dehydrogenation of C6H10 over Model Ru Surfaces" J. Phys. Chem. C 2020, 124, 18070–18080.
Group Meeting Schedule