The Center's primary research activities can be grouped into the following areas:
- Characterization of active sites on solid surfaces and of reaction intermediates
- Interaction of metals with oxides, in particular zeolites, and other promoter effects
- Selectivity of advanced oxidation catalysis
- Environmental catalysis directed toward destruction of gaseous pollutants
Joint research is conducted in both heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis and related surface science. In addition to allowing faculty members to approach significant problems from the perspective of several disciplines and to have access to modern experimental and computational research facilities, the Center provides a coordinated educational program for graduate and postdoctoral students.
Institute for Catalysis in Energy Processes
The Institute for Catalysis in Energy Processes (ICEP) is composed of a number of collaborative research efforts between the Northwestern University Center for Catalysis and Surface Science and Argonne National Laboratory. The overall scientific goals of ICEP are to understand at the molecular level catalytic and photocatalytic transformations relevant to energy harvesting, storage, and utilization and to further the discovery and development of highly efficient catalytic and photocatalytic processes.
Joint Center for Energy Storage Research
CCSS partners with the Join Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) at Argonne National Laboratory to develop clean energy storage technologies. The partnership seeks more affordable, efficient, and environmentally benign alternatives to lithium ion batteries, with recent work into the viability of hybrid batteries with a magnesium metal anode.
Annual Scientific Meeting
Each year in September the Center organizes a one-day meeting with lectures focused on a particular topic in catalysis and a poster session highlighting research in the Center. This meeting provides a forum for contact between graduate students and postdocs and industrial researchers.
Catalysis and Surface Science Seminar Series
A weekly lunch-time seminar on Fridays. The speakers include a mixture of visitors from outside the university as well as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers working on Center projects.