Welcome! For our research, we develop novel routes to the design and synthesis of heterogeneous catalysts, adsorbents, and other functional materials. We combine techniques for organic, inorganic, organometallic, materials, and polymer synthesis to make solid materials with unusual or unprecedented surface structures or to make known materials more precisely so that they may be better understood. One thing we are always on the lookout for are routes to mimic the structure or function of natural enzymes in solid materials that can be used in large-scale processing.

These atom-precise solid materials (catalysts, adsorbents and other functional materials) are used in the service of understanding and controlling some of the greatest challenges in chemical transformations today. At the end of the day, we want to be able to connect synthesis to structure to function, and we feel that the first connection has long been a limitation in the true design (as opposed to discovery) of new solid catalysts and adsorbents. We are active in all aspects of new materials design and testing including synthesis, advanced spectroscopy in the lab and at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, catalyst and adsorbent testing, and mechanism evaluation.

The research page describes the materials we have developed for work in the broad area of sustainable chemistry, including current projects on:
-highly selective and atom-efficient catalytic oxidations with hydrogen peroxide or oxygen
-catalysis with earth abundant metals
-new catalysts for selective deoxygenation and denitrogenation reactions for conversion of biomass or heavy crudes into more useful fuels or chemicals
-selective separation of alcohol biofuels from water
-carbon dioxide capture and photocatalytic conversion into fuels

NEWS

May 2014
- Sara wins a best poster prize at the Catalysis Club of Chicago Spring Symposium!

January 2014
- Matt, Scott, and Louisa join the group

December 2013
- Boone and Justin publish a paper in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

September 2013
- Todd, Kim, and Justin publish a paper in Journal of Catalysis.

June 2013
- Pria and Dario graduate to become Justin's first PhDs! Congratulations!
- Pria leaves for a position at BP, Dario leaves for a post-doc with Aditya Bhan at Minnesota

January 2013
- Rachel, Lauren, and Nick join the group.

November 2012
- Nature Chem article is picked up in C&EN and the McCormick Magazine.
- Undergraduate lab member Nico Grosso awarded 1st place in the Energy, Petroleum and Fuels III undergraduate poster session at the AIChE 2012 National Meeting

October 2012
- PhD student Andy Korinda heads off to Hemlock Semiconductor.
- Pria and Boone receive conference travel awards from the Catalysis Division and the Separations Division of AIChE, respectively.

September 2012
- Christian (Canlas) and Justin publish an article in Nature Chem.
- Dario and Justin publish a paper in Journal of Catalysis.
- Christian (Contreras) receives the G. Thodos Teaching Assistant Award.

June 2012
- Sunyoung, Patricia, and Chieh-Chao join the group.
- Sara receives the Carl Storm Fellowship to attend the Catalysis Gordon Research Conference

May 2012
- Dario receives a DOW Travel Fellowship from NACS to attend the 15th ICC in Munich.

January 2012
- Sara and Christian (Contreras) join the group.

October 2011
- The Notestein group kicks off two projects with the Dow University Funding Initiative.
- Nick and Justin publish articles in JACS and ACS Catalysis.
- Dario receives a travel award from the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division of AIChE.

September 2011
- Pria and Justin publish an article in ChemSusChem.

August 2011
- Boone and Justin publish an article in Langmuir.

NU undergrad interested in working in the lab? Contact Justin Notestein or stop by his office, Tech E250.

Sudents interested in graduate studies at NU should contact the department directly.