The goal of our research is to use atomic-scale images of surfaces to quantitatively understand and control their reactivity.
We use scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), surface spectroscopies, as well as density functional theory (DFT) and Monte Carlo simulations to understand and control chemical reactivity at the nanoscale. Much of our current research is aimed at developing a new surface-science approach to understanding sustainable nanocatalysis and photocatalysis on earth-abundant metal oxides under technologically relevant conditions. This research probes catalytically active sites with atomic-scale spatial resolution and submonolayer spectroscopic sensitivity — studies that have been previously infeasible due to technical limitations. Although TiO2 is our current focus, our goal is to use these techniques on a much wider variety of sustainable metal oxide nanocatalysts, such as oxygen evolution catalysts, envioronmental remediation photocatalyst, and electroactive materials for battery applications.
We are also working with the Center for Bright Beams to produce photocathodes that generate the brightest possible electron beams. This goal will require the production of atomically flat, chemically uniform surfaces of highly reactive materials. We are motivated by the realization that a factor of 100 increased brightness over today’s photoemission-based sources could enable the development of compact x-ray free electron lasers for university laboratories, ultrafast electron diffractometers with unprecedented resolution of biological and mesoscale structures, and ultrafast electron microscopes capable of observing atomic-scale transformations in materials.
Our lab is also profiled here.
Winner of the 2020 Tunis Wentink Prize which recognizes outstanding academic and research performance by a graduate student in the Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
Winner of the 2018 Russell & Sigurd Varian Award which recognizes and encourages excellence in continuing graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS.
We anticipate 2 positions for graduate students will be available in Fall 2021.
Recipient of the 2018 Bauer Scholarship Award!
Winner of the 2017 Nottingham Prize in Surface Science — the 9th winner from Cornell!
We gratefully acknowledge support by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Award CHE-1708025 and the Center for Bright Beams, a NSF-funded Science and Technology Center under Award PHY-1549132. This research uses resources of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-AC02-05CH11231), the Cornell Center for Materials Research Shared Facilities supported through the NSF MRSEC program (DMR-1120296), and the Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility supported through the NSF NNCI program (NNCI-1542081).