Fundamental Understanding of Surface Reaction on Solid Surface
Heterogeneous reaction occurs at the interface of liquid/gas and solid. The property of solid surface is very important to control activity, selectivity, and long-term stability of the catalytic reaction. The geometry and electronic structure of the surface affects the catalytic property. The surface can be modulated in a rational way by nano-structure control, and the synthesized well-defined nano-catalysts can be used to elucidate the fundamental principals of heterogeneous reactions.
 Pt Minimization for Electrocatalysts
Platinum is a king of the catalysts. It is the most widely used material for various catalytic reactions. Especially, it has been used as electrode catalysts for many electrocatalytic reactions such as fuel cell reactions. As the fuel cell vehicles become commercialized and the market grows, Pt minimization becomes more critical issue to determine the success of the overall fuel cell system. We are developing the electrocatalyst which Pt utilization is minimized by controlling the nanostructure of composite catalysts.
 Plasmonic Catalysts
Solar energy can be used as energy source to overcome the activation energy. We are currently developing plasmonic catalysts which consist of plasmonic part and catalytic parts. The surface plasmon formed by absorbing light can transfer energy to catalytic surface enabling chemical reactions with less overall energy and higher selectivity.
 C1 Conversion: Methane and CO2
Dry reforming reaction of methane and carbon dioxide producing hydrogen and carbon monoxide is being studied. Designing coke-tolerant catalysts and understanding coke formation mechanism would be a key issue. Direct synthesis of longer hydrocarbon from methane and carbon dioxide and electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide is being also investigated.
 Biomass Conversion
Cellulose conversion, synthesis of biolubricants from soybean oil, selective conversion of glycerol have been studied. Biomass can be alternative resources for the selective production of various high value chemicals.