Hannah Halliday selected as the Kaiser-Borsari Scholarship recipient
The College of Sciences and Technology is pleased to announce that Hannah Halliday is the recipient of the 2009 Kaiser-Borsari Scholarship for Women in Materials Science, a $5000 scholarship for female undergraduates performing research in materials science and engineering. Hannah Halliday is a senior at Western Washington University. She is a chemistry major and plans on graduating in June 2010.
Work in Dr. Gilbertson's lab is focused on the development of Cu-based nanoparticle catalysts for the synthesis of methanol from H2 and CO2 feedstocks. In addition to being important for carbon dioxide capture, the development of high activity CO2 hydrogenation catalysts would enable new applications in H2 storage and renewable energy production. Cu-based methanol synthesis catalysts have been known for some time, yet the fundamental question of how the activities of these catalysts change when the metal alloy composition, particle size, and morphology are altered remains unanswered. Our aim is to address these fundamental questions in Cu-M (M = Zn, Au, Pt, and Pd) heterogeneous bimetallic catalysts by carefully controlling particle size and composition using a dendrimer-based synthetic method (Fig. 1). The dendrimer-mediated synthesis allows for greatly increased control over particle size and composition relative to traditional catalyst preparation methods. For bimetallic particles, well-mixed and core-shell particles on the order of 2 nm in diameter can be selectively prepared. Catalysts prepared in our lab are characterized via TEM/XPS and examined catalytically in a single pass plug flow CO2 hydrogenation microreactor. Structure/function correlations of the CO2 hydrogenation activity of these catalysts are used to guide the design more efficient catalysts and to reveal useful information about the mechanism of CO2 hydrogenation.
Figure 1. Dendrimer-based synthesis of bimetallic