Prof. Dr. Gianvito Vilé, Politecnico di Milano: Single-Atom Catalysis for Greener Synthetic Methods


When: 13.02.2023, 14:15

Where: Seminar Room 2, Währinger Straße 42


New synthetic methods are urgently needed to drive the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future. Single-atom catalysts represent the new frontier of catalyst design and can accelerate the shift to a greener future due to their groundbreaking reactivity and ability to economize the amount of critical raw materials.

In this lecture, I will present my contributions to this emerging field. Specifically, by focusing on selected case studies in the field of hydrogenations, C-C coupling, and cyclization, I will demonstrate that single-atom catalysts can provide unprecedented degrees of activity and selectivity compared to state-of-the-art homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. With the help of density functional theory calculations and operando characterization studies, I will also elucidate the active sites and tentatively describe the reaction mechanisms. Finally, I will demonstrate how the catalysts can be nanostructured in flow reactors to obtain novel structured films and foams with integrated single-atom functionalities.


Prof. Dr. Gianvito Vilé studied Chemical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano and received his PhD from ETH Zurich. He is currently a tenure-track assistant professor at Politecnico di Milano. His research focuses on the understanding of the structure and reactivity of new single-atom catalytic systems, and on the design of sustainable chemical processes. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the ETH Zurich Medal for outstanding doctoral thesis, the Dimistris N. Chorafas Award from the Weizmann Institute of Sciences in Israel, the Felder Award, and the Alfredo di Braccio prize for Chemistry from the Academia dei Lincei, the Italian National Academy.