Catalysis in Controlled Nanoenvironments

Polymers are our main focus, because that’s Nature’s way, and because of the diversity possibilities. However, we also work with porous and other nanostructured materials, self-assembled monolayers, and metal nanoparticles.

The remarkable catalytic performance of enzymes is the result of precise control over the spatial orientation of the active site and incoming substrates, finely-tuned local solvent environment, and participation of metal ions and cofactors. We aim to devise systems with enzyme-like pre-organization of functional groups and isolation of active sites. Effective spatial isolation of catalytic sites can allow for catalysis with improved efficiency and selectivity. Furthermore, we are interested in site-isolated catalysts for the practical purpose of emulating Nature’s ability to perform cascade transformations easily.