Applications: Catalysis by Nanostructured Materials

  • Evelyn L. Hu
  • S. Mark Davis
  • Robert Davis
  • Erik Scher
Part of the Science Policy Reports book series (SCIPOLICY, volume 1)


The 1999 Nanotechnology Research Directions report included nanoscale catalysis as one aspect of applications of nanotechnology to the energy and chemicals industries [1]. The vision centered on the recognition that “new properties intrinsic to nanostructures” could lead to breakthroughs in catalysis with high selectivity at high yield. An example cited in that report was the observation that, while bulk gold is largely unreactive, highly selective catalytic activity could be observed for gold nanoparticles smaller than about 3–5 nm in diameter [2]. Nanoparticles and nano-structured materials have traditionally played a critical role in the effectiveness of industrial catalysts [3], but the past decade has witnessed significant advances in the control of nanoscale materials and the characterization and in situ probing of catalytic processes at the atomic, active site scale.


Catalysis Nanostructured catalysts Synthesis methods Fuel cells International perspective 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evelyn L. Hu
    • 1
  • S. Mark Davis
    • 2
  • Robert Davis
    • 3
  • Erik Scher
    • 4
  1. 1.Harvard School of Engineering and Applied SciencesCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.ExxonMobil Chemical R&DIrvingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  4. 4.SiluriaPalo AltoUSA

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