Skip Navigation


Michael G. White, Professor

Joint with Brookhaven National Laboratory

Michael G. White

B.S., 1974, University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., 1979, University of California
Research Associate, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 1979-80
Senior Chemist, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1995-present
Chair, Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2000-2001
Professor, SUNY Stony Brook, 2001-present

521 Chemistry
BNL Phone: (631) 344-4345 | USB Phone: (631) 632-1722
Email: |

The White Group Website at BNL

Research Areas

Catalysis on the Nanoscale

Our research is focussed on characterizing the catalytically active sites of nanostructured surfaces and exploring how these are influenced or can be manipulated by variations in composition, particle size, morphology and chemical environment (e.g., support, reaction conditions). These goals are pursued by theory and experiment on model systems, both planar and powder, whose surface structure/morphology, and chemical composition are well-defined. We are particularly interested in exploiting the unique electronic and chemical properties of ultra-small clusters (1-50 atoms) of metals and metal compounds (oxides, sulfides) as novel catalytic materials. Cluster-based nanocatalysts are prepared by mass-selected deposition of gas-phase clusters which provides control over size and chemical composition with atomic precision. The model nanocatalysts are tested for conversion reactions involving CO 2 and methane, with an emphasis on revealing the atomic structure at interfaces and the interfacial electronic properties that underlie observed catalytic activity. 



Selected Publications

Surface Structure of Mass-selected Niobium Oxide Nanoclusters on Au(111), J. Wang, Y. Ma, M. Mahapatra, J. Kang, S. D. Senanayake, X. Tong, D. J. Stacchiola, and M. G. White, N anotechnology, 32, 475601 (2021).

Reactivity of a Zirconia-Copper Inverse catalyst for CO 2 Hydrogenation, Y. Ma, J. Wang, K. R. Goodman, A. R. Head, X. Tong, D. J. Stacchiola and M. G. White, , J. Phys. Chem. B. 124, 22158–22172 (2020).

In Situ Structural Study of Manganese and Iron Oxide Promoted Rhodium Catalysts for Oxygenate Synthesis, P, Carrillo, R. Shi, S. D. Senanayake and M. G. White, Appl. Catal. A, 608, 117845 (2020).

Morphology and Reactivity of Size-selected Titanium Oxide Nanoclusters on Au(111), K. R. Goodman, J. Wang, Y. Ma, X. Tong, D. J. Stacchiola, and M. G. White, J. Chem. Phys., 152, 054714 (2020); (cover art)

Ultrafast Dynamics of Acetone Photooxidation on TiO 2(110), A. R. Muraca, M. D. Kershis, N. Camillone III and M. G. White, J. Chem. Phys. Comm., 151, 161103 (2019).

Nano-Fe 2O 3 as Support and Promoter for Rh Catalysts for Ethanol Synthesis from Syngas Conversion, P. Carrillo, R. Shi, K. Teeluck, S. D. Senanayake and M. G. White, ACS Catalysis, 8, 7279–7286 (2018).

Electronic Interactions of Size-Selected Oxide Clusters on Metallic and Thin Film Oxide Supports, M. Xue, M. Nakayama, P. Liu and M. G. White, J. Phys. Chem. C  121 , 22234–22247 (2017).

Infrared Spectroscopy Investigation of Fe-Promoted Rh Catalysts Supported on Titania and Ceria for CO Hydrogenation, J. W. Magee, R. M. Palomino, M. G. White, Catal. Lett., 146, 1771-1779 (2016).

Hydrogenation of CO 2 to Methanol: Importance of Metal-Oxide and Metal-Carbide Interfaces in the Activation of CO 2, J. A. Rodriguez, P. Liu, D. Stacchiola, S. Senanayake, M. G. White and J. Chen, ACS Catalysis,   5 ,   6696–6706 (2015).

Catalysis Applications of Size-selected Cluster Deposition , S. Vajda and M. G. White, ACS Catalysis, 5 ,   7152–7176 (2015).

The Effect of Fe-Rh Alloying on CO Hydrogenation to C 2+ Oxygenates, R. Palomino, J. W. Magee, J. Llorca, S. D. Senanayake, M. G. White , J. Catal. 329 , 87–94 (2015).

Influence of Cluster-Support Interactions on Reactivity of Size-Selected NbxOy Clusters, M. Nakayama, M.  Xue, W. An, P. Liu, and M. G. White, J.  Phys. Chem. C 119, 14756-14768 (2105).

Characterization of One-Dimensional Molecular Chains of 4,4'-Biphenyl Diisocyanide on Au(111) by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, J. Zhou, Y. Li, P. Zahl, P. Sutter, D. J. Stacchiola and M. G. White, J. Chem. Phys. 142 , 101901  (2015).

Surface Dipoles and Electron Transfer at the Metal Oxide-Metal Interface: A 2PPE Study of Size-Selected Metal Oxide Clusters Supported on Cu(111), Y. Yang, J. Zhou, M. Nakayama, L. Nie, P. Liu and M. G. White, J. Phys. Chem. C, J. Phys. Chem. C, 118 , 13697–13706  ( 2014).