Christopher T. Williams
University of South
301 Main St.
Columbia, SC 29208
- Curriculum Vitæ
- Research Group
[ website ]
The Williams group research interests are in the area of heterogeneous
catalysis and surface science, with a particular focus on studying
solid-liquid catalytic interfaces. Catalysis carried out in the
liquid-phase is very important for applications such as fine chemicals
and pharmaceutical production, and in the production of new fuels from
biorenewable resources. Our primary research involves the development and
application of in-situ or operando surface vibrational spectroscopic
methods to study adsorption and catalysis at solid catalyst surfaces
under industrially relevant reaction conditions ( i.e., in the liquid
phase and/or at high gas pressures and temperatures ). Specific
techniques under development in our group include surface-enhanced Raman
spectroscopy ( SERS ), attenuated total reflection infrared ( ATR-IR )
spectroscopy, and sum-frequency spectroscopy
( SFS ). The information
obtained with these approaches allows us to develop a molecular-level
understanding of the catalytic mechanisms that govern the function of
heterogeneous catalysts under reaction conditions. Such understanding is
critical if we wish to rationally design catalysts for specific
applications in the future. Current reaction systems of interest include
enantioselective hydrogenation of alpha-ketoesters and alkenoic acids;
selective oxidation of alcohols, including especially glycerol, which is
the major byproduct in biodiesel production; hydrodeoxygenation of
biomass-derived organic acids and acid esters to hydrocarbon fuel; and
electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons. Catalysts
under investigation involve both polycrystalline transition metals and
oxide-supported mono and bimetallic nanoparticle catalysts. The latter
materials are prepared either through traditional catalyst synthesis
methods or more novel protocols under development ( e.g., dendrimer-metal
nano composites, electroless deposition ) that allow for control of size
and composition on the nanoscale. The Williams group is currently funded
by the National Science Foundation, and by a variety of industrial sources.
- Ph. D., Purdue University (1997)
- B. S., University of Delaware (1993)
- "Gas-Phase, Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation of Propanoic Acid, Over
Supported Group VIII Noble Metals: Metal and Support Effects," Y. K.
Lugo-José, J. R. Monnier and C. T. Williams, Appl. Catal. A: Gen.
469, 410-418 ( 2014 ).
- "Selective Hydrogenation of Acetylene in Excess Ethylene Using Ag-
and Au-Pd/SiO2 Bimetallic Catalysts
Prepared by Electroless Deposition," Y. Zhang, W. Diao, C. T. Williams
and J. R. Monnier, Appl. Catal. A: Gen., 469,
419-426 ( 2014 ).
- "An In Situ Spectroscopic Study of Prochiral Reactant–Chiral Modifier
Interactions on Palladium Catalyst: Case of Alkenoic Acid and Cinchonidine
in Various Solvents," S. Tan and C. T. Williams, J. Phys. Chem. C
117( 35 ), 18043–18052 ( 2013 ).
- "Preparation and Characterization of Dendrimer-Derived Bimetallic
Catalysts for CO Oxidation," Y.-J. Song, Y. M. López de Jesús, P. T. Fanson,
and C. T. Williams, J. Phys. Chem. C 117( 21 ),
10999-11007 ( 2013 ).
- "In-situ ATR-IR Investigation of Methylcinnamic Acid Adsorption and
Hydrogenation on Pd/Al2O3,"
X. Sun and C. T. Williams, Catal. Commun. 17( 1 ), 13-17 ( 2012 ).