Project Info

Designing new carbon recycling materials from iron-sulfur clusters

Christine Morrison

Project Goals and Description:

One way to mitigate the ever-increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is to develop carbon recycling catalysts. Such catalysts would capture and convert carbon dioxide waste from fossil fuels into value-added products. This work aims to explore the viability of iron-sulfur clusters as potential carbon recycling catalysts. These catalysts offer several advantages, including being composed of earth-abundant elements and operating under mild conditions.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Develop carbon sequestration methods.
  • Ji, Z.; Trickett, C.; Pei, X.; Yaghi, O. M. “Linking Molybdenum-Sulfur Clusters for Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution.” Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018, 140, 13618-13622.
  • Lee, C. C.; Stiebritz, M. T.; Hu, Y. “Reactivity of [4Fe-4S] clusters toward C1 substrates: Mechanism, implications, and potential applications.” Chem. Res. 2019, 52, 1168-1176. DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.9b00063.
  • Rebelein, J. G.; Stiebritz, M. T.; Lee, C. C.; Hu, Y. “Activation and reduction of carbon dioxide by nitrogenase iron proteins.” Chem. Biol. 2017, 13, 147-149. DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2245.
  • Rettberg, L. A.; Stiebritz, M. T.; Kang, W.; Lee, C. C.; Ribber, M. W.; Hu, Y. “Structural and mechanistic insights into CO2 activation by nitrogenase iron protein.” Eur. J. 2019, 25, 13078-13082. DOI: 10.1002/chem.201903387.

Primary Contacts:

Christine Morrison (PI),

Student Preparation


Some experience with organic and/or inorganic chemical synthesis is strongly encouraged. Prior experience can include lab classes or other research experience.




Inorganic synthesis, materials synthesis, chemical and material characterization techniques (such as NMR, UV-vis, PXRD, SEM, and others), handling of anaerobic materials (in a glove box and on Schlenk lines), CO2 reduction assays, organic synthesis


The student will work very closely with a graduate student in the Morrison group to learn how to synthesize and characterize chemicals and materials. As the student gains experience, they may operate in the lab with greater independence, but they will always be able to access the grad student or Dr. Morrison as questions arise. After receiving initial training in key lab techniques and is comfortable in the lab, the student is expected to work on their own independent project that may be published. The student’s experiments and project development will be supervised by the grad student and PI.


Share This