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College of Engineering and Computing


Center for Rational Catalyst Synthesis (CERCAS)

CeRCaS is a National Science Foundation industry and university cooperative research center that brings together experts from two major institutions - University of South Carolina and Virginia Commonwealth University - to transform the art of supported metal catalyst preparation into a science

What We Do

World leading expertise in metal catalyst synthesis allows researchers to demonstrate rational, scalable, bottom-up syntheses of supported single metal and bimetallic catalysts with previously unachievable control of metal nanoparticle size and metal1-metal2 interactions. You can find more information on the CERCAS website.

Goals: Fundamental Research to Streamline Catalyst Development

  • Study of the mechanisms of metal deposition and nanoparticle genesis and stabilization.
  • Predicting supported nanoparticle size, shape, and composition; "better nanoparticles through computation."
  • Precise control of single and bimetallic catalytic sites for specific reactions.

Research Thrust Areas

  1. Fundamental Studies of Metal Deposition - In-Situ spectroscopy and microscopy of metal deposition and nanoparticle formation
  2. Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Solid-Solid Bonding - Predicting sintering/wetting and particle size, shape and composition.
  3. Precision site synthesis for specific reactions - Simple, scalable synthesis of mono- and mulit-metallic catalytic sites in well dispersed supported nanoparticles.

Want To Find Out More About This Unique NSF Partnership?

Dr. Larry Hornak, the NSF I/UCRC program director, gives an in depth explanation of the project and its research in this PowerPoint presentation.