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Catalysis and Interfacial Science

The Catalysis and Interfacial Science Section focuses on cutting edge topics, that are both of fundamental academic importance and of relevance and significance to the modern world.

The Catalysis and Interfacial Science Section focuses on cutting edge topics, that are both of fundamental academic importance and of relevance and significance to the modern world.

We have a strong focus on heterogeneous catalysis and we also have breadth, studying homogeneous and enzymatic catalysis. Catalysis is a key enabling technology that impacts widely on all of our lives at many levels. Enhancing our fundamental understanding of catalysis and processes at surfaces allows us to control and improve many essential chemical reactions.

The research activities are supported by extensive state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, with expansive worldwide collaborations with industry, research institutes and other universities. Fully embedded in the School, the Cardiff Catalysis Institute is recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for catalysis research and it is one of a number of University Research Institutes.

Centre for Doctoral Training in Catalysis (CDT)

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Catalysis (CDT), hosted by Bath, Bristol and Cardiff has been established to provide PhD training across heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis as well as reaction engineering.

The CDT will allow postgraduates to develop an advanced knowledge of traditional and emerging catalysis disciplines, an understanding of industry and global contexts plus research and professional skills. Graduates from the CDT will drive and grow the UK catalysis sector as well as support the needs of UK industry.

This video shows how we work with industry partners to develop new applications for catalysis research.


The School is particularly well recognised for heterogeneous catalysis research together with a significant presence in nano and interfacial science. The group is internationally recognised for its leading work in these areas. The research covers the synthesis and properties of high surface area, powdered materials, which is of direct industrial relevance, to more fundamental work on surface structure, and the fabrication and imaging of ultra-nanoparticles. The grouping's work is instrumental in solving challenges in key areas, such as energy, carbon capture, sustainable manufacturing and the environment.

  • Pioneering studies on heterogeneous gold and other metal nanoparticulate catalysts. Probing their interaction with solid supports, and their suitability for a wide range of important reactions for industry and the environment.
  • Synthesis of new types of catalysts for environmental protection and pollutant abatement for mobile vehicle and stationary applications.
  • Use of sunlight for clean fuel (hydrogen) production and carbon dioxide conversion.
  • New catalysts for transformation of bio-derived sustainable molecules.
  • Novel clean routes to oxygenated organic molecules by selective oxidation.
  • In situ studies of catalysts.
  • Atomic resolution imaging of the structure of nanoparticles and surfaces.
  • Controlled preparation of catalytic nanoparticles and understanding their interaction with surfaces.
  • Novel and sustainable strategies for catalyst synthesis.
  • Molecular modelling studies to understand catalytic mechanisms.

We also have significant research into enzymatic and homogeneous catalysis, and more details can be found at the Biological Chemistry and Molecular Synthesis group pages.

Find out more details of group members specific research interests by looking at their individual profiles under the people tab.

Meet the team

Group Leader

Academic staff

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Research that matters

Our research makes a difference to people’s lives as we work across disciplines to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and our environment.


Postgraduate research

Our research degrees give the opportunity to investigate a specific topic in depth among field-leading researchers.


Our research impact

Our research case studies highlight some of the areas where we deliver positive research impact.