The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology presents a WIN Seminar entitled "Designing Nanoparticles for Catalysis" by Dr. Robert W. J. Scott, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan.
In this seminar, I will discuss work in our group focusing on the development of nanoparticle catalysts which have high catalytic activity, excellent selectivity towards specific substrates, and excellent durability and recyclability. Our current work involves the synthesis and stabilization of nanoparticles in solution which do not have completely passivated surfaces, such that there are surface sites available on the particles for solution phase reactions. This work is an important step towards the development of green catalytic routes which minimize waste of hazardous materials and solvents, and attain a high atom economy for expensive noble metal catalysts. Several routes towards such goals will be discussed in detail, including the synthesis and re-dispersion of nanoparticles in ionic liquid solvents and structural control of polymer-stabilized bimetallic nanoparticles. Characterization tools which can assist in elucidating surface chemistry and/or nanoparticle size and structures will be detailed, including mass spectrometry, HRTEM, and in situ x-ray absorption spectroscopy at the Canadian Light Source.
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