Forwarding Molecular Design of Heterogeneous Catalysts

Tanja Cuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus Citations


Catalysis research has long been divided between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. In homogeneous catalysis, reactivity arises from molecular catalysts in a homogeneous solution, while in heterogeneous catalysis reactivity comes from sites on a surface. The main advantage of homogeneous catalysis is the ability to design reaction sites within molecularly defined catalysts in order to achieve high catalytic activity, measured in the number of product molecules evolved per site per second (turnover frequency, TOF). However, homogeneous catalysis suffers from degradation of the molecular catalysts during the reaction, leading to a low number of total product molecules evolved (turnover number, TON). In comparison, heterogeneous catalysis has incredibly high TONs - so much so that discrete TONs are often impractical to report. A new, promising area of research is intended to combine the benefits of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis by tethering the molecular catalyst onto a solid surface to achieve tunability, high TOFs, and high TONs.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1084-1086
Number of pages3
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-72485


  • catalysis
  • molecular catalysts
  • tunability
  • turnover frequency


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