Chemical and Biological Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



These studies investigate the nucleation and growth of nanoparticles and how their interaction with a support affects their reactivity as a heterogeneous catalyst. As capabilities in both synthesis methods and characterization methods advance, the use of nanoparticles and sub-nanometer species are more commonly used. These small particles introduce new factors that can cause differences in reactivity. Various catalyst synthesis methods are employed to deposit mono-dispersed particles on different oxide and carbon supports. Electron microscopy is used to study nanoparticle sintering and the careful tracking of individual particles gives insight into growth mechanisms. X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements are used to characterize catalysts and elucidate the reasons for a support effect in both hydrogenation and oxidations reactions. This investigation aims to produce a more active catalyst by exploring different aspects that play a role in reactivity and selectivity. Understanding the growth mechanisms that commonly to lead deactivation gets us one step closer to creating a sinter resistant catalyst. These studies also show that changing a catalyst support can increase its activity. The exploration of the fundamentals of nanoparticle structure and interaction with its surroundings leads to a more efficient catalyst.


heterogeneous catalysis, nucleation

Document Type




Degree Name

Chemical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

Datye, Abhaya

First Committee Member (Chair)

Loehman, Ronald

Second Committee Member

Karim, Ayman

Third Committee Member

Challa, Sivakumar