Catalysis Club of Chicago

Member-North American Catalysis Society

October 10, 2022

Supported Metal Catalysts via Surface Chemistry and Interfacial Engineering

Professor Kunlun Ding

Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University

Join us in person at The Great Escape Restaurant

(9540 W Irving Park Rd, Schiller Park, IL 60176)


Supported metal catalysts are used in many petrochemical processes, biomass conversions, electrocatalysis, etc. Conventional impregnation method usually results in a variety of surface metal species with different catalytic properties. New synthetic protocols are needed for the future generation of supported metal catalysts with well-defined structures and catalytic properties. In the first part of this talk, I will introduce two new approaches for the synthesis of supported metal catalysts by harnessing weak interfacial interactions. The first approach involves the pre-assembly of well-defined heterometallic compounds on a substrate. The supported heterometallic compounds can be converted to well-defined supported bimetallic nanoparticles upon reduction. This approach can be applied to a large variety of bimetallic nanoparticles, including several bulk immiscible systems. The second approach is to deposit pre-synthesized colloidal metal nanoparticles onto various catalyst supports by tuning the interaction between colloid metal nanoparticles and supports. This approach is applicable to many types of metal nanoparticles and supports, and can be readily scaled up without affecting the dispersion of nanoparticles. In the second part of my talk, I will focus on the surface modification of supported metal catalysts via atomic layer deposition. Oxide overcoats on metal catalysts not only influence the accessibility of metal sites, but also create new interfacial sites with unique catalytic properties. Some new insights into oxide overcoats will be discussed in this talk.


Dr. Ding is an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering Department at Louisiana State University. He received his Ph.D. in 2009 from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In the same year, he joined Professor Galen Stucky’s group at UCSB as a postdoctoral researcher, where he worked on halogen-mediated natural gas conversion in collaboration with a company named Gas Reaction Technologies. After three years of work at UCSB, he joined Professor Peter Stair’s group at Northwestern University in 2013. His work at Northwestern mostly focused on atomic layer deposition and in situ spectroscopies.

Dr. Ding joined LSU in 2016. His research group at LSU aim to develop site-specific techniques to achieve atomic level understanding of heterogeneous catalysis. They develop model catalysts to minimize the structural heterogeneities of heterogeneous catalysts, and further calibrate spectroscopies to distinguish the surface structures and discriminate the catalytic performance of different sites. Their targeted reactions include natural gas conversion, plastic upcycling, selective hydrogenation/dehydrogenation, and low temperature selective catalytic reduction of NOx. Dr. Ding has published 56 papers including two papers in Science. He has been awarded with 5 patents. His work has received >5000 citations.

Dr. Ding has been an active member of the Catalysis Club of Chicago (2013-2016) and the Southwest Catalysis Society (2016-now). He has organized or co-organized numerous catalysis symposia in the ACS national meetings and regional meetings.