John Keith

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 2007
Summary:

The Keith group applies and develops computational chemistry to study and discover solutions to problems at the interface of engineering and basic science.  They are currently focused on modeling chemical reaction mechanisms and the atomic scale of materials to help develop renewable energy and sustainability technologies.

The group uses quantum chemistry-based multiscale modeling to predict and study the atomic scale of materials and chemical reactions. With electronic structure and atomistic methods, they can investigate fundamental reaction steps at different time- and length-scales that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to investigate with experiment. 

Notably, their studies are entirely carried out in silico (on a computer) and almost entirely free from artificial biases that are present when using experimental inputs. Whether doing so alone or in collaboration with experimentalists, the group provides deep perspective on the atomic-scale of catalytic environments to understand how they work and how to further improve them.

The 'ground-up' multiscale modeling approach uses appropriate levels of quantum chemistry (QC) theory (typically on up to ca. 200 atoms) to model reaction energiesbarrier heightspKas, and standard redox potentials. Using data obtained from QC theory, they can also develop analytic reactive forcefields, which are capable of modeling reaction dynamics on systems on the order of 100,000 atoms. Reactive forcefield data in turn can be used to generate rate constant libraries for kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) simulations to model larger time-scale and length-scale phenomena such a nanoparticle/material growth and ripening.

Students

Yasemin Basdogan

Graduate Student

yab16@pitt.edu
3700 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh PA, 15261

Affiliation:

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
University of Pittsburgh

Charles Griego

Graduate Student

cdg36@pitt.edu
804 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh PA, 15213

Affiliation:

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
University of Pittsburgh

Mitchell Groenenboom

Graduate Student

mcg64@pitt.edu
3700 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh PA, 15261

Affiliation:

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
University of Pittsburgh

Ethan Henderson

Undergraduate Student

emh112@pitt.edu
804 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh PA, 15261

Affiliation:

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
University of Pittsburgh

Angela Leo

Undergraduate Student

angela.leo@pitt.edu
804 Benedum Hall, Pittsburgh PA, 15261

Affiliation:

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
University of Pittsburgh

Karthikeyan Saravanan

Graduate Student

kas389@pitt.edu
3700 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh PA, 15261
412-519-6255

Affiliation:

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
University of Pittsburgh
Most Cited Publications
  1. "Water Oxidation on Pure and Doped Hematite (0001) Surfaces: Prediction of Co and Ni as Effective Dopants for Electrocatalysis," Peilin Liao, John A. Keith, and Emily A. Carter, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 13296 (2012)
  2. "The Mechanism of the Wacker Reaction: A Tale of Two Hydroxypalladations," John A. Keith, Patrick M. Henry, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 48, 9038 (2009)
  3. "Theoretical Investigations of the Oxygen Reduction Reaction on Pt(111)," John A. Keith, Gregory Jerkiewicz, Timo Jacob, ChemPhysChem 11, 2779 (2010)
  4. "Theoretical Studies of Potential-Dependent and Competing Mechanisms of the Electrocatalytic Oxygen Reduction Reaction on Pt(111)," John A. Keith, Timo Jacob, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 49, 9521 (2010)
  5. "Theoretical insights into pyridinium-based photoelectrocatalytic reduction of CO2," John A Keith, Emily A. Carter. Journal of the American Chemical Society 134, no. 18 (2012): 7580-7583.
Recent Publications
  1. "Benchmarking Computational Alchemy for Carbide, Nitride, and Oxide Catalysts." Griego, Charles D., Karthikeyan Saravanan, and John A. Keith. Advanced Theory and Simulations (2018): 1800142.
  2. "Mechanism of Isobutylene Polymerization: Quantum Chemical Insight into AlCl3/H2O‑Catalyzed Reactions," Minh Nguyen Vo, Yasemin Basdogan, Bridget S. Derksen, Nico Proust, G. Adam Cox, Cliff Kowall, John A. Keith, and J. Karl Johnson, ACS Catal., 8, 8006 (2018)
  3. "Oligomer Hydrate Crystallization Improves Carbon Nanotube Memory," Michael T. Chido, Peter Koronaios, Karthikeyan Saravanan, Alexander P. Adams, Steven J. Geib, Qiang Zhu, Hari B Sunkara, Sachin S. Velankar, Robert M. Enick, John A. Keith, and Alexander Star, Chemistry of Materials (2018).
  4. "Homogeneous M (bpy)(CO) 3X and Aromatic N-heterocycle Catalysts for CO2 Reduction." Groenenboom, Mitchell C., Karthikeyan Saravanan, and John A. Keith. In Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide, pp. 111-135. (2018).
  5. "Liquids That Freeze When Mixed: Cocrystallization and Liquid–Liquid Equilibrium in Polyoxacyclobutane–Water Mixtures." Banerjee, Joyita, Peter Koronaios, Brittni Morganstein, Steven J. Geib, Robert M. Enick, John A. Keith, Eric J. Beckman, and Sachin S. Velankar. Macromolecules 51, no. 8 (2018): 3176-3183.

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