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Catalysis

The studies of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis constitute one of the important research areas in PEER Institute. The ongoing projects include catalytic decarboxylation of carboxylic acid and C-H activation to convert methane to the materials with higher additional values. The advantageous of PEERI is that we gather experimental and theoretical experts with diverse background in heterogeneous catalysis, homogeneous catalysis, theoretical chemistry, surface chemistry and material science. In particular our research focuses on

- Developing low temperature, high selective decarboxylation catalyst and investigating the possible reaction pathways through detailed product analysis, catalyst structure characterization and theoretical modeling prediction.

- Exploring possible application of ionic liquid as a new reaction media in C-H activation, alkylation of aromatics and gas separation. Meanwhile designing and synthesizing new ionic liquids to meet the demands for a variety of reactions.

- Applying novel molecular design concept and quantum chemistry theories to assist our catalyst design and understanding the chemistry and physical phenomena occurring in the targeted reactions.

Homogeneous catalysis
Homogeneous catalysis or molecular catalysis in solution has the advantages of more uniform accessibility, and hence more selectivity than heterogeneous catalysis. Current homogeneous catalysis is based on solution organometallic chemistry developed in last several decades. Major research directions for PEERI in this area are:

-To overcome the separation/recycle problems a new trend has emerged in last several years. That can be called as surface homogeneous catalysis or surface organometallic chemistry in which uniform catalytic sites on surfaces retain the advantages of those in solution, with the added benefits of ease of separation from products, lack of corrosion, and robustness for high-temperature operation.

- Experimental transition-metal coordination chemistry and quantum valence theory and force-field theory are approaching mature and programmable which leads to tunable and designable catalyst systems. In addition of transition-metals others such as organo-main groups, organo-rare earth chemistry and catalysis have been advanced significantly recently. It has greatly expanded the scope of homogeneous catalysis.

- Another trend is where catalysts are immobilized on ionic liquids in solution state. PEERI's research in this field is mainly focused on catalysis of C-H activation and C-C bond coupling. Research started reasonable designing coordinatively unsaturated metal centers or precursors and potential ligands following inert atmosphere synthesis. Reaction mechanisms are studied by isotopic labeling, characterization of intermediates, dynamic NMR, IR or UV-Vis monitoring of reaction kinetics and stereochemistry.