our current research projects  






Research Interests

Our research is focused on developing potential new generations of catalytic materials that are more stable and efficient than catalysts prepared by conventional methods for the production and storage of green energy. We use fundamental approach to answer practical questions in chemical science and technology based on our previous research experience in chemical engineering and surface chemistry. The key for improvement of catalytic process lies in understanding of the mechanisms of catalytic transformations. Along these lines, we are particularly interested in characterization of catalytic materials under realistic reaction conditions in real time using in situ spectroscopy and diffraction.

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Lab Facilities

Engineering Building

The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering occupies part of the Engineering Building. We conduct catalyst synthesis, surface characterization and high pressure reaction testing at the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Lab at EB 244.

Shelby Center

The newly constructed Shelby Center is a state-of-the-art education and research facility. The Transport, Reaction, and Energy Conversion Lab at UAH includes at 1,500 ft2 laboratory at SC 309 led by Prof. George Nelson and Prof. Yu Lei that houses equipment for materials processing, structure characterization, electrochemical testing, and catalyst reactivity testing.

Atomic Layer Deposition System

The Arradiance GEMStar-6 ALD synthesis reactor is equipped with eight separate chemical precursor introduction channels enabling the fabrication of a wide variety of nanoparticles and thin films on porous membranes, aerogels, fibers, and powders. This reactor is used for generating nanostructured materials for energy conversion and storage.

Ozone Generator

The bench top ozone generator allows us to provide ozone/oxygen mixed gas - a highly active oxidizer for materials synthesis and processing.


Spectroscopic Ellipsometer

This J.A. Woollam Alpha-SE spectroscopic ellipsometer allows for quick, easy characterization of thin film thickness and refractive index. It is also equipped with a liquid cell designed to study liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces.


Catalyst Testing System -1

Our fixed-bed reactor is equipped with a HP 5890 Series II gas chromatograph with one thermal conductivity detector (TCD) and one flame ionization detector (FID). It enables on-line analysis of the composition of the effluents from the reactor.

Catalyst Testing System -2

This SRI 8610C gas chromatograph equipped a FID detector is particularly useful for the precise analysis of liquid phase products such as biofuels.

High Pressure Batch Reactor

Autoclave batch reactor with agitator allow us to carry out multi-phase high pressure reactions.

Gas Sorption Analyzer

Quantachrome autosorb iQ is used to analyze surface area and pore size distribution of catalysts and other nanomaterials.






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