Welcome to our site!

The group of Materials Chemistry and Catalysis (MCC) is part of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science and comprises the staff members prof. Petra de Jongh, prof. Frank de Groot, dr. Peter Ngene, dr. Jessi van der Hoeven, dr. Nong Artrith (per July 1st 2021) and prof. dr. ir. Krijn de Jong (em). Next to that our fundament is a team of wonderful technicians, a very professional secretariat and a great team of PhD candidates, postdocs, and MSc and Bsc students.

Our group focuses on the synthesis, characterisation and performance of heterogeneous catalysts. These allow efficient chemical conversions (and hence decrease the use of energy and raw materials), but are also essential to allow the transformation from fossil to renewable fuels.  With fundamental research we unravel structure-performance relationships, but we also investigate large scale existing industrial processes (methanol synthesis, Fischer Tropsch synthesis, hydroisomerisation, ammonia synthesis, epoxidation and other selective hydrogenation and oxidation reactions in both gas and liquid phase).

We are also very active in the field of energy materials: for instance to produce electrocatalytically fuels from CO2 and H2, reversible hydrogen storage, and next generation battery materials. We lead the materials research line in RELEASE, the national consortium to enable large scale reversible energy storage. Another stronghold is the characterisation of these complex materials with advanced (in-situ and operando) spectroscopic and microscopic techniques, most notably advanced X-Ray absorption spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy.

Open positions

We are currently looking for a postdoctoral fellow to work on X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) of bifunctional metal-zeolite catalysts. More information can be found here on the UU website. Apply before 25 July 2021.

News (more news can be found on our news page…)

This year, we have welcomed three new PhD students thus far. Claudia Keijzer has started her project in the group of Petra de Jongh. She works on ultra-pure and structured porous materials as catalyst supports. Yuang Piao has also started in her group; he works on bimetallic catalysts for the catalytic conversion of syngas into DME via methanol. Masoud Lazemi has started his project on femtosecond XAS and RIXS of transition metal oxides using X-Ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs), under the supervision of Frank de Groot and Uwe Bergmann (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

Debye physicists and chemists control catalyst structure at the atomic scale – Novel core-shell catalyst design published in Nature Materials. The work of MCC group members Jessi, Liselotte, Giorgio and Petra, together with the team of Alfons van Blaaderen and others appeared today in Nature Materials. More details: Bericht in het NederlandsPress Release in Englishfull paperfree version.

Op woensdag 28 april was Petra de Jongh te zien op NPO2 in het wetenschapsprogramma Atlas, om uitleg te geven over de rol van duurzaam waterstof in de energietransitie (in het Nederlands, item start op 13:38). Waterstof kan daarin een spilfunctie vervullen, omdat het fossiele brandstoffen en grondstoffen kan vervangen in de industrie, zwaar transport, en bij grootschalig opslaan van hernieuwbare elektriciteit, maar de eerste grote uitdaging blijft voorlopig om voldoende groene elektriciteit op te wekken

Laura Barberis, PhD candidate of Petra de Jongh and Frank de Groot, won the poster prize with her poster “Particle size effects for copper-catalyzed CO2 hydrogenation to methanol” at the Faraday Discussion Carbon Dioxide Utilisation (April, UK). Congrats! (April 2021)

The Alliance team, led by Sanli Faez and of which Peter Ngene is a member, receives a SPARK grant to create a radically accessible open-hardware platform for redox-flow batteries (March 2021).

We are in the process of dividing the group of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis into two new groupsMaterials Chemistry and Catalysis (MCC) of Petra de Jongh, Krijn de Jong, and Frank de Groot, and Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis (ICC) of Bert Weckhuysen and Eelco Vogt. This allows for more focus in research and efficiency in management. You have reached the temporary website of the new MCC group, that of the new ICC group can be found here. (2021)

In 2021 the Dutch Catalysis Society (sectie Katalyse of the KNCV) has awarded the KNCV-DCS Thesis Award to a talented young researcher. The award has been presented to Carlos Hernandez Mejia (MCC, promotor Krijn de Jong) during the 22th NCCC conference that took place online on March 1, 2021. The title of his thesis reads “Niobia-Supported Metal Catalysts for Synthesis Gas Conversion”. In the consideration of the international jury it was mentioned that the depth and methodology of the study of the metal support interaction were exemplary. The award comes with a certificate as well as € 1250 to be used for advancement of science. Congratulations to Carlos for this well-deserved award! (March 2021)

COVID-proof Christmas 2020 picture: