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Advanced Catalytic Materials Synthesis

Man in a lab working with crystals

Accelerating catalyst development by establishing synthetic strategies to access targeted catalyst structures, providing control over composition, crystal phase, size, morphology, and active site characteristics


Advanced catalyst synthesis, paired with detailed characterization and testing, is a key component to catalyst research and development. Our diverse team of inorganic synthetic chemists, materials scientists and engineers, and chemical engineers offers expertise in the development of novel catalytic materials and engineered catalysts and supports. Our core capabilities range from tailoring the active site on the sub-Angstrom scale to controlling catalyst morphology at the nanometer scale to fabricating engineered catalyst particles at the micrometer-to-millimeter scale to designing hybrid enzyme-mimetic materials, and span a wide-range of materials and synthetic techniques:

  • Metal oxide nanoparticles through combustion techniques
  • Engineered metal oxide particles through gelation methods and structured mesoporous metal oxides through templating methods
  • Metal carbide and nitride catalysts through solid-gas reactions, including synthesis of supported nano-carbides and nano-nitrides
  • Zeolite synthesis with subsequent metal ion-exchange
  • Thermally and chemically robust Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOF) with tunable pore sizes and catalytically active centers comprised of earth abundant elements. These materials can be infiltrated with nanoparticles and dopants to tailor reactivity.
  • Solution-phase nanoparticle syntheses of metals, metal alloys, and metal phosphides
  • Functionalization of oxide materials and ligand exchange for metal and semiconductor nanomaterials
  • Soft chemical routes for the production of nanostructured hybrid materials made up of porous silicates, zeolites, perovskites, and other layered oxides that achieve enzyme-like reactivity while retaining the durability of conventional heterogeneous catalysts
  • High-throughput hydrothermal synthesis of conventional zeolites, Lewis acidic zeolites, and pillared zeolites
  • Microwave hydrothermal/solvothermal synthesis via homogeneous nucleation and growth of zeolite nanoparticles (nanocrystals) and heterogeneous nucleation and growth of zeolite membranes on porous ceramic supports.

Additional Information:

Heterogeneous Catalysis for Thermochemical Conversion — National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Chemical Energy Storage R&D — Los Alamos National Laboratory

National Laboratories:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratories

Leverage our capabilities and expertise in this area.