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Synthesis of organolanthanide compounds for catalysis

We are developing new f element compounds as catalysts for a number of homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions as part of the Critical Materials Institute Energy HUB. Our ultimate goal is to discover new catalysts for important processes, such as hydrocarbon functionalization, carbon-nitrogen bond formation, oxygen-transfer, and hydrogenation. Students working on this project will learn about synthetic organolanthanide chemistry, homogeneous catalysis, heterogenous catalysis, and high throughput methods in chemistry.

Catalytic Hydrodeoxyation

We are developing organometallic compounds to act as catalysts for conversion of biomass and biorenewable materials. Generally, the compounds, materials, and catalysts used for conversion of reduced petroleum feedstocks are not appropriate for the highly oxygenated biologically-derived materials. Instead, water soluble, moderately reduced metal centers are needed for alcohol, ester, ether and carboxylate activation.

Mass spectrometric imaging of plant metabolites

We are developing mass spectrometric imaging technique to analyze plant metabolites in single cell level. With this new technique, we can reveal unprecedented details of plant metabolism.

We are using top-notch instrumentation for this project, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI)-linear ion trap-orbitrap mass spectrometer. By reducing the laser beam size down to 10um size, we
can probe molecules present in very narrow area, and acquire high-resolution mass spectra for over thousands of x and y positions.

Highly Efficient Broadband Terahertz Radiation from Metamaterials

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have demonstrated broadband terahertz (THz) wave generation using metamaterials. The discovery may help develop noninvasive imaging and sensing, and make possible THz-speed information communication, processing and storage. The results appeared in the Jan. 8 issue of Nature Communications.


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