Javier B. Giorgi, affiliated professor at Chemistry Laboratory

Professor, Department of chemistry and biomolecular sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Affiliated Professor 2023-25 - April 21 to May 21, 2023 (Stays planned in January 2024 and April 2025)
Inviting Researcher: Carine Michel Javier Giorgi is a Full Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ottawa. He received his BSc from Concordia University and his PhD from the University of Toronto (supervisor: Prof. JC Polanyi, Nobel Prize, 1986) in the area of reaction dynamics in surface reactions. He was a Humboldt fellow at the Fritz Haber Institute (Max Planck) with Prof HJ Freund for the study of surface interactions in catalysis. He has developed a research program in materials and surface science for the study of catalytic processes in fuel cells, biomass utilization and atmospheric chemistry.

Prof Giorgi has a long history of collaboration and interactions with the ENS de Lyon. He was part of the original team involved in the LIA-FunCat project that provided funding for 10 years for collaborative work between the University of Ottawa and the ENS de Lyon.

Previous collaborative work involved the interactions between lignin model molecules and platinum. The result was insight into the modes of binding of different molecules, the thermodynamic behaviors involved, and even a predictive reactive behaviour. The use of sulfide (and other semiconductor) catalysts is the way forward in terms of sustainability, cost and versatility.

The research involves the development of experimental (Javier B. Giorgi) and computational (Carine Michel) approaches to the understanding of reactivity in sulfide catalysts for chemical valorization of biomass. We use well-defined single crystal surfaces (atomically flat) in ultra-high-vacuum (UHV). Molecules of interest are adsorbed in a controlled manner and allowed to react under different conditions (coverages, pressure, temperature...) while experimentally identify intermediates and products of the reaction by way of spectroscopic techniques. Computationally, the interactions and reactions pathways can be calculated to determine the cause and course of the reactions. Understanding is obtained from the direct comparison of experimental data and theory.
  • Ould Hamou, Cherif A., Giorgi, Javier B. (2019). Direct Observation of Phenoxy as the Key and Common Intermediate for the Decomposition of Lignin Fragments Containing the Beta-O-4 Linkage. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 123, 8122-8132.
  • Ould Hamou, Cherif A., Reocreux, Romain, Sautet, Philippe, Michel, Carine, Giorgi, Javier B. (2017). Adsorption and Decomposition of a Lignin beta-O-4 Linkage Model, 2-Phenoxyethanol, on Pt(111): Combination of Experiments and First-Principles Calculations. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121, 9889-9900.
  • Reocreux, Romain, Ould Hamou, Cherif A., Michel, Carine, Giorgi, Javier B., Sautet, Philippe. (2016). Decomposition Mechanism of Anisole on Pt(111): Combining Single-Crystal Experiments and First-Principles Calculations. ACS CATALYSIS, 6, 8166-8178.