(6bi) From 1- and 2-Dimensional Materials to Architectural Properties in Catalysis: Rationalizing, Predicting and Designing through First-Principles Methods

Schimmenti, R., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research Interests:

Electronic-structure methods, such as density functional theory (DFT) calculations, are powerful tools for the rationalization of reaction mechanisms and for guiding the synthesis of catalysts with tailored properties. The most part of computational investigations in the catalysis field usually deals with reaction path analysis. However, a rigorous and creative use of simulations makes possible to move away from more common reaction mechanism studies, and to focus on less treated aspects of catalysis, such as architectural properties.

In my research, starting from DFT calculations, I extrapolate the principles that guide the stability and catalytic activity of materials over a wide range of size-domains. Among these:

  • Supported single atom catalysts (SACs) for catalytic and electrocatalytic applications;
  • Sub-nanometer metal clusters for the upgrade of biomass-derived molecules;
  • Stable, free-standing 2D Bismuthene monolayers for CO2 reduction reaction;
  • Surface reconstructions and dynamics under electrocatalytic operating conditions;
  • Non-conventional Moiré catalytic architectures.

Postdoctoral Project

“Computational studies of 1- and 2-D materials for catalytic and electrocatalytic applications” Under the supervision of Prof. M. Mavrikakis, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA).

PhD dissertation

“Theoretical insights into heterogeneous metallic catalysts for biomass-based hydrogen production” Under the supervision of Prof. D. Duca, University of Palermo (Italy).

Teaching Interests:

During my post-doctoral and doctoral experience I served as mentor for young PhD, Master, and undergraduate students. I have served as Teaching Assistant and lecturer for catalysis, kinetics, and inorganic chemistry courses. My chemistry (PhD) and chemical engineering (Post-doc) background is suitable to teach courses as: i. Reaction Engineering; ii. Intro to Chemical Engineering; iii. Thermodynamics; iv. Catalysis and kinetics; v. Computational and Theoretical Chemistry; vi. Inorganic Chemistry; vii. Organic Chemistry; viii. Physical Chemistry; ix. Surface Science; x. Materials Science


Helped with the preparation of successful grant applications and renewals:

  • Atomic-Scale Design of Metal and Alloy Catalysts: A Combined Theoretical and Experimental Approach (DOE-Funded project; PI: Prof. Manos Mavrikakis)
  • NSF Travel Support: 2019 Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) and Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Chemical Reaction at Surfaces; Ventura, California (PI: Prof. Manos Mavrikakis)

Selected Publications:

  • Cai H. †, Schimmenti R.†, Nie H., Mavrikakis M., Chin Y.-H., The Unique Role of Proton-Hydride pair in Heteroarene Catalytic Hydrogenation, submitted;
  • Yang F. †, Elnabawy A. †, Schimmenti R. †, Yao S., Deng R., Song S., Lin Y., Xu W., Mavrikakis M., Bismuthene for Highly Efficient Carbon Dioxide Electroreduction Reaction, submitted;
  • Cortese R., Schimmenti R., Godina L., Prestianni A., Ferrante F., Duca D., Murzin D. Yu., A Combined Theoretical and Experimental Approach for Platinum Catalyzed 1,2-Propanediol Aqueous Phase Reforming, Phys. Chem. C, 121, 14636, 2017;
  • Schimmenti R., Cortese R., Duca D., Mavrikakis M., Boron Nitride-supported Sub-Nanometer Pd6 Clusters for Formic Acid Decomposition: A DFT Study, ChemCatChem, 9, 1610, 2017;
  • Cortese R., Schimmenti R., Ferrante F., Prestianni A., Decarolis D., Duca D., Graph-Based Analysis of Ethylene Glycol Decomposition on a Pd Cluster, Phy. Chem. C, 121, 13606, 2017;
  • Ferrante F., Prestianni A., Cortese R., Schimmenti R., Duca D., Density Functional Theory Investigation on the Nucleation of Homo-and Heteronuclear Metal Clusters on Defective Graphene, Phys. Chem. C, 120, 12022, 2016;
  • Schimmenti R., Cortese R., Ferrante F., Prestianni A., Duca D., Chem. Chem. Phys., 18, 1750, 2016.

†These authors contributed equally.