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Department of Chemistry

Dr Simon Beaumont

Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42598

(email at

Lecturer and Leverhulme Trust and Addison Wheeler Fellow


SKB completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge, obtaining the Norrish prize for overall distinction in Physical Chemistry, before undertaking a PhD with Prof. Richard Lambert (Cambridge), funded by a prestigious Cambridge University Domestic Research Scholarship. During this time he won a number of awards nationally (e.g. scholarship from the UK Society of the Chemical Industry (SCI)) and internationally (student award from the International Precious Metals Institute). The focus of this work was in the heterogeneous catalysis of synthetic transformations (such as enantioselective hydrogenation and C-C coupling) – of relevance to process chemists for fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Following his PhD research, SKB undertook post-doctoral work in the US with Prof. Gabor Somorjai (UC Berkeley), focusing on the use of colloidally prepared nanoparticles as model catalysts for understanding heterogeneously catalyzed bulk chemical transformations, such as Fischer-Trospch, Hydrocarbon Hydrogenation, and CO2 Hydrogenation.  This work included extensive use of the Advanced Light Source synchrotron facility for a range of in situ X-ray spectroscopies - including the development of an in situ cell for soft X-ray Adsorption Spectroscopy (NEXAFS) and its application to mechanistic problems in Fischer Tropsch catalysis. 

Current Research Interests

The primary goal is to take well defined materials and nano-structures and use them, in conjunction with advanced and innovative in situ spectroscopic techniques, to improve our understanding of heterogeneous catalysts. Improved understanding in turn enables us to design new better (more energy efficient, sustainable, and selective) catalytic materials.  Specific current research areas of interest include:

  • Fischer-Tropsch
  • Ethylene and Higher Olefin Epoxidation
  • In situ DRIFTS (Diffuse Reflectance IR spectroscopy)
  • In situ Raman Techniques
  • Cu-Ag bimetallic structures
  • Solid acid and base catalysis

Selected Publications

  • Beaumont, S. K.; Alayoglu, S.; Pushkarev, V. V.; Liu, Z.; Kruse, N.; Somorjai, G. A., Faraday Discussions 2013, 162, 31.
  • Beaumont, S. K., Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 2012, 87, (5), 595-600. ‘Heterogeneously catalyzing C-C coupling reactions with precious metal nanoparticles’
  • Pushkarev, V. V.; An, K.; Alayoglu, S.; Beaumont, S. K.; Somorjai, G. A., Journal of Catalysis 2012, 292, (0), 64-72. ‘Hydrogenation of benzene and toluene over size controlled Pt/SBA-15 catalysts: Elucidation of the Pt particle size effect on reaction kinetics’
  • Iablokov, V.; Beaumont, S. K.; Alayoglu, S.; Pushkarev, V. V.; Specht, C.; Gao, J.; Alivisatos, A. P.; Kruse, N.; Somorjai, G. A., Nano Letters 2012, 12, (6), 3091-3096. ‘Size-Controlled Model Co Nanoparticle Catalysts for CO2 Hydrogenation: Synthesis, Characterization, and Catalytic Reactions’
  • Alayoglu, S.; Beaumont, S. K.; Zheng, F.; Pushkarev, V. V.; Zheng, H.; Iablokov, V.; Liu, Z.; Guo, J.; Kruse, N.; Somorjai, G. A., Topics in Catalysis 2011, 54, (13-15), 778-785. ‘CO2 Hydrogenation Studies on Co and CoPt Bimetallic Nanoparticles Under Reaction Conditions Using TEM, XPS and NEXAFS’
  • Beaumont, S. K.; Kyriakou, G.; Watson, D. J.; Vaughan, O. P. H.; Papageorgiou, A. C.; Lambert, R. M., Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2010, 114, (35), 15075-15077. ‘Influence of Adsorption Geometry in the Heterogeneous Enantioselective Catalytic Hydrogenation of a Prototypical Enone
  • Beaumont, S. K.; Kyriakou, G.; Lambert, R. M., Journal of the American Chemical Society 2010, 132, (35), 12246-12248. ‘Identity of the Active Site in Gold Nanoparticle-Catalyzed Sonogashira Coupling of Phenylacetylene and Iodobenzene’
  • Beaumont, S. K.; Gustaftson, R. J.; Lambert, R. M., Chemphyschem 2009, 10, 331. ‘Heterogeneous Photochemistry Relevant to the Troposphere: H2O2 Production during the Photochemical Reduction of NO2 to HONO on UV-Illuminated TiO2 Surfaces.’