Professor Simon Podkolzin

Building: Burchard
Room: 426
Phone: 201-216-8074


Chemical kinetics and reaction mechanisms on surfaces of catalytic nanoparticles:

Research in the Catalytic Nanoparticles Lab focuses on reaction mechanism studies on surfaces of solid catalysts for petroleum refining and chemical industries. The scale gap between observable reaction rates and catalytic surface reactions on the molecular level is bridged through iterative cycles of experimental catalyst characterization and testing in combination with DFT calculations. Experimental information establishes the basis for the selection of models and the level of theory for DFT calculations and then, in turn, results of the DFT calculations help to deconvolute and better interpret experimental data. In contrast with traditional catalyst models that assume a static surface, our approach of combining kinetic studies, IR and Raman spectroscopic measurements and DFT calculations with vibrational analyses allows us to develop new methodologies for describing dynamic catalytic surface changes under reaction conditions and, consequently, for a transformational improvement in the description, control and further development of catalytic processes.


  • 1991-1995  Research Engineer, UOP, Guildford, Surrey, UK and Des Plaines, Illinois.

  • 2002-2008  Senior Research Engineer, Core R&D, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan.
Institutional Service
  • 2009 - Present: Stevens Patent Committee.
Selected Publications
  1. Kai Liu, Tao Chen, Shuyue He, Jason P. Robbins, Simon G. Podkolzin, Fei Tian. "Observation and Identification of an Atomic Oxygen Structure on Catalytic Gold Nanoparticles", Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 2017,  10.1002/anie.201706647  .
  2. Tao Chen; Emila Kertalli; T. Alexander Nijhuis; Simon G. Podkolzin. "Effects of Hydrogen and Propylene Presence on Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide over Palladium Catalysts", Journal of Catalysis, 341, 72-81, 2016,  DOI: 10.1016/j.jcat.2016.06.012  .
  3. Tao Chen; Amrita Pal; Jie Gao; Yun Han; Hui Chen; Svetlana A. Sukhishvili; Henry Du; Simon G. Podkolzin. "Identification of Vertical and Horizontal Configurations for BPE Adsorption on Silver Surfaces", Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 119 (43), 24475-24488, 2015,  DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b07831  .
  4. Jie Gao; Yiteng Zheng, Jih-Mirn Jehng; Yadan Tang; Israel E. Wachs; Simon G. Podkolzin. "Identification of Molybdenum Oxide Nanostructures on Zeolites for Natural Gas Conversion", Science, 348 (6235), 686-690, 2015,  DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa7048  .
  5. Jie Gao; Yiteng Zheng; Yadan Tang; Jih-Mirn Jehng; Robert Grybos; Jaroslaw Handzlik; Israel E. Wachs; Simon G. Podkolzin. "Spectroscopic and Computational Study of Cr Oxide Structures and Their Anchoring Sites on ZSM-5 Zeolites", ACS Catalysis, 5 (5), 3078-3092, 2015,  DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.5b00333  .
  6. Semra Senturk-Ozer; Tao Chen; Nebahat Degirmenbası; Halil Gevgilili; Simon G. Podkolzin, and Dilhan M. Kalyon. "Nanobursa Mesh: Graded Electrospun Nanofiber Mesh with Metal Nanoparticles on Carbon Nanotubes", Nanoscale, 6, 8527-8530, 2014,  DOI: 10.1039/c4nr01145g  .
  7. Jie Gao; Haibo Zhao; Xiaofang Yang; Bruce E. Koel, and Simon G. Podkolzin. "Geometric Requirements for Hydrocarbon Catalytic Sites on Pt Surfaces", Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 53, 3641-3644, 2014,  DOI: 10.1002/anie.201309043  .
  8. Jie Gao; Yiteng Zheng; George B. Fitzgerald; Jason de Joannis; Yadan Tang; Israel E. Wachs, and Simon G. Podkolzin. "Structure of Mo2Cx and Mo4Cx Molybdenum Carbide Nanoparticles and Their Anchoring Sites on ZSM-5 Zeolites", Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 118 (9), 4670-4679, 2014,  DOI: 10.1021/jp4106053  .
  9. Jie Gao; Haibo Zhao; Xiaofang Yang; Bruce E. Koel, and Simon G. Podkolzin. "Controlling Acetylene Adsorption and Reactions on Pt-Sn Catalytic Surfaces", ACS Catalysis, 3(6), 1149-1153, 2013.,  DOI: 10.1021/cs400198f  .
  10. Jooho Kim; Lindsey A. Welch; Amelia Olivas; Simon G. Podkolzin, and Bruce E. Koel. "Adsorption and Decomposition of Cyclohexanone (C6H10O) on Pt(111) and the (2 x 2) and (√3 x √3)R30 deg-Sn/Pt(111) Surface Alloys", Langmuir 26(21), 16401-16411, 2010,  DOI: 10.1021/la102069a  .
  11. Daniel A. Hickman; Mark E. Jones; Zoran R. Jovanovic; Michael M. Olken; Simon G. Podkolzin; Eric E. Stangland, and R. Kirk Thompson. "Reactor Scale-up for Fluidized Bed Conversion of Ethane to Vinyl Chloride", Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 49(21), 10674-10681, 2010,  DOI: 10.1021/ie100423z  .
  12. Jooho Kim; Jie Fu; Simon G. Podkolzin, and Bruce E. Koel. "Studies of Ethylene Oxide Adsorption on Pt-Sn Alloys with TPD, HREELS, UPS, and DFT Calculations", Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 114(40), 17238-17247, 2010,  DOI: 10.1021/jp1051485  .
  13. Alwies W. A. M. van der Heijden, Simon G. Podkolzin, Mark E. Jones, Johannes H. Bitter, Bert M. Weckhuysen. "Catalyzed Hydrogen-Chlorine Exchange between Chlorinated Hydrocarbons under Oxygen-Free Conditions", Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 47(27), 5002-5004, 2008.  DOI: 10.1002/anie.200800270  .
  14. Simon G. Podkolzin, Eric E. Stangland, Mark E. Jones, Elvira Peringer, and Johannes A. Lercher. "Methyl Chloride Production from Methane over Lanthanum-Based Catalysts", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 129(9), 2569-2576, 2007.  DOI: 10.1021/ja066913w  .
  15. Elvira Peringer, Simon G. Podkolzin, Mark E. Jones, Roberta Olindo and Johannes A. Lercher. "LaCl3-Based Catalysts for Oxidative Chlorination of CH4", Topics in Catalysis, 38(1-3), 211-220, 2006.  DOI: 10.1007/s11244-006-0085-7  .
  16. Simon G. Podkolzin; Olga V. Manoilova; and Bert M. Weckhuysen. "Relative Activity of La2O3, LaOCl, and LaCl3 in Reaction with CCl4 Studied with Infrared Spectroscopy and Density Functional Theory Calculations", Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109(23), 11634-11642, 2005.  DOI: 10.1021/jp050680y  .
  17. David G. Barton and Simon G. Podkolzin. "Kinetic Study of a Direct Water Synthesis over Silica-Supported Gold Nanoparticles", Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109(6), 2262-2274 2005.  DOI: 10.1021/jp048837u  .
  18. Olga V. Manoilova; Simon G. Podkolzin; Balarishna Tope; Johannes Lercher; Eric E. Stangland; Jean-Michel Goupil, and Bert M. Weckhuysen. "Surface Acidity and Basicity of La2O3, LaOCl, and LaCl3 Characterized by IR Spectroscopy, TPD, and DFT Calculations", Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 108(40), 15770-15781, 2004.  DOI: 10.1021/jp040311m  .
  19. Simon G. Podkolzin; Rafael Alcala, and James A. Dumesic. "Density Functional Theory Studies of Acetylene Hydrogenation on Clean, Vinylidene- and Ethylidyne-Covered Pt(111) Surfaces", Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical, 218(2), 217-227, 2004.  DOI: 10.1016/j.molcata.2004.04.015  .
  20. Pieter Van Der Avert; Simon G. Podkolzin; Olga Manoilova; Hendrik De Winne, and Bert M. Weckhuysen. Low-Temperature Destruction of Carbon Tetrachloride over Lanthamide Oxide Based Catalysts: From Destructive Adsorption to a Catalytic Reaction Cycle, Chemistry - A European Journal, 10(7), 1637-1646, 2004.  DOI: 10.1002/chem.200305442  .
  21. Simon G. Podkolzin; Rafael Alcala; Juan J. De Pablo, and James A. Dumesic. "Monte Carlo Simulations of Reaction Kinetics for Ethane Hydrogenolysis over Pt", Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 106 (37), 9604-9612, 2002.  DOI: 10.1021/jp020345z  .
  22. S. G. Podkolzin; R. M. Watwe; Q. Yan; J. J. De Pablo, and J. A. Dumesic. "DFT Calculations and Monte Carlo Simulations of the Co-Adsorption of Hydrogen Atoms and Ethylidyne Species on Pt(111)", Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 105 (36), 8550-8562, 2001.  DOI: 10.1021/jp0104076  .
  23. S. G. Podkolzin; J. Shen; J. J. De Pablo, and J. A. Dumesic. "Equilibrated Adsorption of CO on Silica-Supported Pt Catalysts", Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 104 (17), 4169-4180, 2000.  DOI: 10.1021/jp993833o  .
  24. J. Shen; J. Hill; R. Watwe; S. G. Podkolzin, and J. A. Dumesic. "Ethylene Adsorption on Pt/Au/SiO2 Catalysts", Catalysis Letters, 60 (1-2), 1-9, 1999.  DOI: 10.1023/a:1019038503569  .
  25. M. A. Natal-Santiago; S. G. Podkolzin; R. D. Cortright, and J. A. Dumesic. "Microcalorimetric Studies of Interactions of Ethene, Isobutene, and Isobutane with Silica-Supported Pd, Pt, and PtSn", Catalysis Letters, 45 (3-4), 155-163, 1997.  DOI: 10.1023/a:1019004720871  .
  • CHE 345 Process Control, Modeling and Simulation
  • CHE 424 Engineering Design VIII
  • CHE 620 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
  • MT 603 Thermodynamics and Reaction Kinetics of Solids
  • NANO 600 Nanoscale Science and Technology
  • NANO 525 Techniques of Surface and Nanostructure Characterization
  • CHE 555 Catalysis and Characterization of Nanoparticles
  • MT 555 Catalysis and Characterization of Nanoparticles
  • NANO 555 Catalysis and Characterization of Nanoparticles
  • EN 555 Catalysis and Characterization of Nanoparticles