Welcome to the Cargnello Group website at Stanford!
Our group studies the design, synthesis, characterization and testing of materials for a variety of applications, but in particular as heterogeneous catalysts for important reactions involving energy- and environment-related transformations.
A catalyst is a compound that can increase the rate of chemical reactions while remaining unchanged during the catalytic cycle. Common catalysts are proteins found in our bodies called enzymes, that are responsible for producing a variety of compounds that we need at the mild conditions (body temperature and atmospheric pressure) compatible with life.
One example of a successful industrial catalyst is the ammonia synthesis catalyst, a solid composed of mainly iron that fixes nitrogen into ammonia at temperatures of about 400-500 °C and pressures up to 250 bars. Our goal is to help the planet transition to a cleaner future, where resources are available to a larger part of the population and the economic growth is accompanied by an improvement of living conditions and in the environment quality.