BSc (London), PhD (Cambridge), Postdoctoral Fellow (UC-Berkeley)
(1) Organometallic catalysis
We focus on transition metal-catalyzed processes relevant to clean energy production. Among the most studied systems are electrocatalytic proton reduction, silane hydrolysis and dehydrogenative coupling, all of which generate dihydrogen as a potential carbon-free energy source. Many aspects of these reactions including preparation of new metal complexes, their structural characterization, catalytic efficiency studies, detection of reactive intermediates, elucidation of mechanism and computational modeling are explored in detail whenever possible. Transition metal carbonyls and metal pincer complexes are widely employed and investigated via FTIR and NMR spectroscopies, cyclic voltammetry, and photochemical techniques.
(2) Nanomaterial formation mechanism
We continue to study the mechanism of formation of nanomaterials in various shapes and sizes. We have expanded the study to not only the coinage metals such as silver and gold but also the main group and transition metal compounds such as bismuth nitrate, selenates and molybdates. In the active form, these materials can serve as carbon dioxide activators, photosensitizers and proton reduction catalysts. As such understanding how they are formed is essential in the understanding of how shapes and sizes of nanomaterials affect their catalytic performances. The growth mechanism of nanomaterials is monitored using TEM, SEM, XRD and uv-visible spectroscopy.
Ng CHB and Fan WY, "Reuleaux Triangle Disks : New Shape on the Block”. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 136 (2014): 12840-12843. (Chosen as JACS spotlight and Cover Art, Sept 17 2014 issue)
Teo KLA and Fan WY, "Catalytic hydrogen evolution from hydrolytic oxidation of organosilanes with silver nitrate catalyst". RSC Advances, 4 (2014): 37645-37648.
Teo KLA and Fan WY, "A novel iron complex for highly efficient catalytic hydrogen generation from the hydrolysis of organosilanes". Chem. Commun., 50 (2014): 7191-7194.
Hou K, Poh HTC and Fan WY, "Electrocatalytic hydrogen generation by a trithiolato-bridged dimanganese hexacarbonyl anion with turnover frequency exceeding 40,000 s−1". Chem. Commun., 50 (2014): 6630-6632.
Poh HTC, Sim BT, Chwee TS, Leong WK and Fan WY, "A dithiolate bridged diiron hexacarbonyl complex Na2[(μ-SCH2CH2COO)Fe(CO)3]2 as a water-soluble photoCORM". Organometallics, 33 (2014): 959-963.
Kee JW, Tan YY, Swennenhuis B, Bengali A and Fan WY, “Hydrogen generation from water upon CpMn(CO)3 irradiation in a hexane/water biphasic system” Organometallics 30 (2011) 2154-2159
Ye E, Tan H, Li S and Fan WY, “Self-Organization of Spherical, Core–Shell Palladium Aggregates by Laser-Induced and Thermal Decomposition of [Pd(PPh3)4]” Angew. Chem. 45, (2006) 1120 –1123.
Tan H, Ye E and Fan WY, “Alumina-Template Synthesis of Fluorescent RuO2 Nanotubes Derived from Ru3(CO)12 Clusters” Adv. Mater. 18, (2006) 619–623.