Interface properties are key factors dominating in heterogeneous catalysis system. People have been devoted efforts to this specific area for a long time while conclusive summarization only exist in limited topics. That is why more and more research scientists jumping into this specific area and trying to find the ultimate solution of catalysis based on there own research. Our group is a team of passionate research chemists led by Dr. Hongbo Zhang at Nankai University. The group is designed to   address energy and environmental challenges from a fundamental perspective via combination studies with nano-fabrication, kinetic analysis and in-situ/operando characterizations to achieve strong structure and performance correlations, especially on the interface structure. Specifically, we are interested in C-H bond activation, C-C bond coupling, selective hydrogenation/ dehydrogenation of small platform moleculars, such as CH4, ethanol, furfural and CO2 etc to generate value added chemicals and even gasolines/diesels. The in-situ and operando characterization techniques and spectroscopy include XAFS, FTIR, Raman, XPS, XRD and solid-state NMR etc. The catalytic materials we are looking at include Zintl clusters, atomic layer deposition functionalized materials, metal organic frameworks, as well as some Rare Earth (RE) materials. Our research efforts include but not limited to:

1. Mechanistic studies on C-C bond formation and C-O bond rupture in the effective conversion of biomass platform molecules over MOFs and layered RE materials  
2. Atomic layer deposition in nano-catalytical system fabrication and application  
3. C-H bond activation via cofeed chemicals under mild conditions  
4. Kinetic Isotope Effect (KIE) with combination of pressure dependency studies in kinetically relevant step (KRS) assessment
5. Zintl catalysis
6. Photo-thermal catalysis

Dr. Hongbo Zhang (张洪波硕士)

2002-2006   Chemistry Department of Nankai University,Bachelor degree

2006-2012   Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics,PhD(Supervisor: Prof. Xinhe Bao and Prof. Xiulian Pan)

2013-2017   Argonne National Laboratory/ Penn State/ UIUC,Postdoc

2018-now    Research Scientist in School of Materials Science and Engineering of Nankai Univeristy

Representative results

[8] Yanru Wang#, Chao Zhang#, Xiuyi Wang, Jinqiu Guo, Zhong-Ming Sun*, and Hongbo Zhang*, Atomically Dispersed Ru1/Snx Catalyst Derived from [Ru@Sn9]6- Zintl Cluster for Efficient/Selective C=O Activation; 2020, (submitted, #: these authors contribute equally)

[7]  Jingjing Dai, Kaipeng Li, Zongjing Feng, Jun Xu, Yao Chen*, Hongbo Zhang*, Zhenjie Zhang.  Evidence on Primary Pore Size Dependence C-C Bond Coupling inside Zr-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks; 2020, J. Catal., (under review)

[6]  Hongbo Zhang, Malek Y. S. Ibrahim and David W. Flaherty*, Aldol Condensation among acetaldehyde and ethanol reactants on TiO2: Experimental evidence for the kinetically relevant nucleophilic attack of enolates; J. Catal. 361, 290-302 (2018).

[5]  Hongbo Zhang, Christian Canlas, A. Jeremy Kropf, Jeffrey W. Elam, James A. Dumesic and Christopher L. Marshall*, Enhancing the stability of copper chromite catalystsfor the selective hydrogenation of furfural with ALD overcoating (Ⅱ)--comparison between TiO2 and Al2O3 overcoating; J. Catal. 326, 172-181 (2015).

[4]  Hongbo Zhang, Xiangkui Gu, Christian Canlas, A. Jeremy Kropf, Jeffrey P. Greeley, Jeffrey W. Elam, James A. Dumesic , Peter C. Stair and Christopher L. Marshall*, Atomic Layer Deposition Overcoating: Tuning Catalyst Selectivity for Biomass Conversion;  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 12132 –12136 (2014).

[3]  Hongbo Zhang, Yu Lei, A. Jeremy Kropf, Guanghui Zhang, Jeffrey W. Elam, Jeffrey T. Miller, Fred Sollberger, Fabio Ribeiro, Cem M. Akatay, Eric A. Stach, James A. Dumesic and Christopher L. Marshall*, Enhancing the stability of copper chromite catalysts for the selective hydrogenation of furfural with ALD overcoating; J. Catal. 317, 284-292 (2014).

[2]  Hongbo Zhang, Xiulian Pan*, Xiuwen Han, Xiumei Liu, Xuefeng Wang, Wanling Shen, and Xinhe Bao*, Enhancing chemical reactions in a confined hydrophobic environment: an NMR study of benzene hydroxylation in carbon nanotubes; Chem. Sci. 4, 1075-1078 (2013)

[1]  Hongbo Zhang, Xiulian Pan*, Jingyue Liu, Weizhong Qian, Fei Wei, Yuying Huang and Xinhe Bao*, Enhanced catalytic activity of sub-nanometer titania clusters confined inside double-wall carbon nanotubes; ChemSusChem, 4 (7), 975-980 (2011).

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