Cynthia Friend

Cynthia Friend

Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science
Cynthia  Friend

Administrative Contact: Leah DeFrancesco

Controlling the chemical and physical properties of interfaces is central to many technologies and particularly in addressing global challenges in reducing energy costs and in developing alternative energy sources. The research in the Friend group focuses on important catalytic reactions and on making new materials with key chemical functionality.

The major research themes in our current research are:
The development of a mechanistic framework for selective catalytic syntheses promoted by oxygen on coinage metals (Au, Ag, and Cu) and their alloys. Our objective is to provide a basis for designing "green" chemical processes.
Investigation of hybrid metal/metal oxide materials, including nanostructures, for chemical and photocatalysis. One aspect of this work is driving thermodynamically uphill reactions, such as CO2 reduction and water splitting.
The study of new methods for controlled doping of semiconductor materials so as to modify their optical properties using femtosecond lasers and novel methods for introducing dopant precursors. Our objective is to create materials that efficiently harvest solar energy for photovoltaics and photoelectrochemistry. This work is part of a new Solar energy grant funded by NSF.
Our research is enhanced through active participation in the Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, the Harvard Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, and use of facilities in the Harvard Center for Nanoscale systems and through active collaborations.

Professor Friend is also on the editorial board of ACS Catalysis, Chemical Science, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and also co-editor in chief of the RSC Catalysis Science and Technology Journal.

Contact Information

12 Oxford Street
Office M018
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-495-4198

Research Group Affiliations