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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

(4/8/2024) We have another PhD candidate in the house (group)! Congratulations to Suchi for passing her thesis proposal!! Great work!

(4/4/2024) Congratulations to our fellow Fellows Huston and Geoffrey!! They each received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in recognition of their accomplishments and proposed research!

(4/2/2024) Fellowship alert! Suchi received the NSERC PGS-D Fellowship! Congrats Suchi!!

(3/30/2024) For our March group event, we went to Your 3rd Spot and enjoyed arcade and yard games!

(3/25/2024) Matt passed his Thesis proposal! Congratulations PhD Candidate Matt!

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Recent Publications

[98] David W. Flaherty, Aditya Bhan, “Improving the Rigor and Reproducibility of Catalyst Testing and Evaluation in the Laboratory“, J. Catal. 2024, 431, 115408.

[97] Jason Adams, Haoyu Chen, Tomas Ricciardulli, Sucharita Vijayaraghavan, Abinaya Sampath, David W. Flaherty, “Distinct Site Motifs Activate O2 and H2 on Supported Au Nanoparticles in Liquid Water“, ACS Catal. 2024, 14, 3248–3265.

[96] Claudia E. Berdugo-Díaz, Melissa T. Manetsch, Jieun Lee, Yang Sik Yun, David F. Yancey, Steve J. Rozeveld, Jing Luo, Xue Chen, David W. Flaherty, “Ester Reduction on Bifunctional Metal-Acid Catalysts: Effect of Metal to Acid Ratio“, J. Catal. 2024, 430, 115346.

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