Designing Nanoparticle Systems for Catalysis Faraday Discussion

16 - 18 May 2018, London, United Kingdom

Heterogeneous catalysis is a core area of contemporary physical chemistry posing major fundamental and conceptual challenges, and nanoparticles are pivotal components of many successful heterogeneous catalysts. For example, commercial Fischer Tropsch catalysts require supported cobalt nanoparticles that are 6 nm in diameter for optimal performance. Nanoparticles are ubiquitous in many heterogeneous catalysts and it is now opportune to focus a Faraday Discussion concerning key aspects of their synthesis characterisation and use.
This Faraday Discussion will explore the modern methods being used to design, synthesise and characterize nanoparticles and how these bridge across the disciplines of physical science and chemical engineering. The core aim of this discussion meeting is to develop a fundamental understanding of these crucial aspects of catalytic science, especially relating to nanoparticle synthesis and its use in catalytic reactions, knowledge of which is essential for the design of new catalysts.
This Discussion follows on from the very successful Faraday Discussion on Designing New Heterogeneous Catalysts that was held in London 4-6th April 2016.  One of the topics that was set out as needing in depth discussion was the topic concerning catalysis using nanoparticles. This topic touches a myriad of aspects in the broad spectrum of catalysis research.


The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of the physical sciences, with a focus on physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years 

Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions. 

Find out more about the Faraday Discussions in this video:


  • Control of Catalytic Nanoparticle Synthesis
This session will discuss ways in which new nanoparticulate structures can be prepared and their catalytic properties explored. If we are to make progress in this area new approaches to the synthesis of nanoparticles are needed. We will explore both metal and metal oxide nanoparticle preparation and we would anticipate that high level characterisation will go hand in hand with the preparation methodologies. It would also be asked that the nanoparticles are validated as catalysts by appropriate test reactions.
  • The Challenges of Characterising Nanoparticulate Catalysts
Nanoparticles when used as catalysts present unique challenges for characterisation and we will explore how new methods are helping. In particular we will explore how nanoparticles interact with the support and how techniques can explore the nature of the interfacial sites. These sites are often considered to be the active centres for catalysis but there are reports of colloidal nanoparticles that are unsupported being active. This is a new area and the discussion will aim to set the scene and open up the field. There is clearly a role for theory to add to this debate and theory papers addressing these aspects will be encouraged.
  • Theory as a drivingforce to understand reactions on nanoparticles
Theory is now at a stage of maturity where it can help in understanding how nanoparticles interact with molecules both in their synthesis and use. This is a key session in the discussion and it will be asked that theory is validated by experimental work if possible. Clearly theory can be directed towards understanding reaction pathways on the surfaces of nanoparticles as a means of directing experimental catalysis; or it can be directed at which structures and morphologies are feasible and how this can aid catalysis.
  • Application of new nanoparticle structures as catalysts
In this session we aim to show how new nanoparticle structures can find important new applications in catalysis. The aim will be to show how new methods in catalyst design can open up new avenues in important applications that address key challenges facing society at this time. In particular, this session will bring theory and experiment to show how theory can play a role in predicting new applications and how the community can respond with experimental validation. While there is much effort expended in new uses for biomass we will also explore/encourage applications in new arenas such as pharmaceuticals or water purification and disinfection applications.


This Faraday Discussion will bring together the catalysis community, including some of the most active and recognised experimentalists and theoreticians focusing on developing a fundamental understanding of catalytic science, especially relating to nanoparticle synthesis and its use in catalytic reactions, knowledge of which is essential for the design of new catalysts.

Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 4 September 2017 if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 18 December 2017.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.  

Poster Abstracts 

Submit your poster abstract by 5 March 2018. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.  
Please read the registration information before registering.
You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions 
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on Monday 11 September
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on Tuesday 12 September
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
  • A copy of the final theme issue of Faraday Discussion Volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 6 months after the meeting)**
  • For non-member registrants, membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2018
Registration fees are as follows: 
Early Bird 
(by 26 March 2018)
(by 16 April 2018)
Member* £355 £410
Non-Member*** £460 £515
Student Member* £170 £225
Student Non-Member £195 £250

Registration fees are VAT exempt.

  * If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

  **Excluding students, who can order the volume at a reduced price at the conference. 

 ***For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2018, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event

Student Delegates

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

 A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available.  

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner on Thursday May 17 and is included in the regsitration fee.
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Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

We have a limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 for PhD and early career scientists travelling within their home country. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis and are available to members in the associate category and above.

We also offer grants of up to £800 to assist with travel expenses to participate at this meeting. These are available to members in the associate category and above, who are PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians) within 10 years of leaving full time education. 

Please note that we recommend you submit your application a minimum of three months before you need a decision. We will be unable to consider any applications received within 8 weeks of the start of the conference (21 March 2018)
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

Accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Ellis Salsby run an accommodation booking service, if you would like any assistance please use the link provided.

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