Faculty


Sykes

Charlie Sykes

Department of Chemistry
Pearson Chemistry Laboratory
62 Talbot Avenue
Tufts University 
Medford, MA 02155 

Office: X-103

Tel: 617-627-3773   Fax: 617-627-3443

E-mail: charles.sykes@tufts.edu

Research Homepage


Current Appointment

 

Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry

 

Education

 

Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2004-05, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC
Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2002-04, Pennsylvania State University, PA
Ph.D., 2002, Cambridge University, UK
BS/MS, 1998, Oxford University, UK

 

Research Interests

 

Physical Chemistry, Surface Science, and Nanoscience.  The Sykes group utilizes state of the art scanning probes and surface science instrumentation to study technologically important systems. For example, scanning tunneling microscopy enables visualization of geometric and electronic properties of catalytically relevant metal alloy surfaces at the nanoscale. Using temperature programmed reaction studies of well defined model catalyst surfaces structure-property-activity relationships are drawn. Of particular interest is the addition of individual atoms of a reactive metal to a relatively inert host. In this way reactivity can be tuned, and provided the energetic landscapes are understood, novel bifunctional catalytic systems can be designed with unique properties that include low temperature activation and highly selective chemistry. Newly developed curved single crystal surface are also being used to open up previously inaccessible areas of structure sensitive surface chemistry and chiral surface geometries. In a different thrust, the group has developed various molecular motor systems that are enabling us to study many important fundamental aspects of molecular rotation and translation with unprecedented resolution.

 

Selected Recent Publications

 

"CO Adsorption on the "29" CuxO/Cu(111) Surface: An Integrated DFT, STM, and TPD Study" A. J. R. Hensley, A. J. Therrien, R. Zhang, M. D. Marcinkowski, F. R. Lucci, E. C. H. Sykes, and J.-S. McEwen The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016, Accepted - D2


"Influence of Step Faceting on the Enantiospecific Decompositon of Aspartic Acid on Chiral Surfaces Vicinal to Cu{111}" A. D. Reiniker, A. J. Therrien, T. J. Lawton, R. Ali, E. C. H. Sykes, and A. J. Gellman Chemical Communications 2016, 52, 11263-11266 - D3


"Preparation, Structure, and Surface Chemistry of Ni-Au Single Atom Alloys" Z.-T. Wang, M. T. Darby, A. J. Therrien, M. El-Soda, A. Michaelides, M. Stamatakis, and E. C. H. Sykes The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016, 120, 13574-13580 - D4


"Tackling CO Poisoning with Single Atom Alloy Catalysts" J. Liu, F. R. Lucci, M. Yang, S. Lee, M. D. Marcinkowski, A. J. Therrien, C. T. Williams, E. C. H. Sykes, and M. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016, 138, 6396-6399 [Cover Story] - D1/D2 


"Structurally Accurate Model for the "29"-Structure of CuxO/Cu(111): A DFT and STM Study" A. J. Therrien, R. Zhang, F. R. Lucci, M. D. Marcinkowski, A. J. R. Hensley, J.-S. McEwen, and E. C. H. Sykes The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016, 120, 10879-10886 [Cover Story] - D2 


"Water Co-Catalyzed Selective Dehydrogenation of Methanol to Formaldehyde and Hydrogen" J. Shan, F. R. Lucci, J. Liu, M. El-Soda, M. D. Marcinkowski, L. F. Allard, E. C. H. Sykes, and M. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos Surface Science 2016, 650, 121-129 - D4


"Charge Transfer Induced Magic Cluster Formation of Azaborine Heterocycles on Noble Metal Surfaces" C. J. Murphy, D. Miller, S. Simpson, A. Baggett, A. Pronschinske, M. L. Liriano, A. J. Therrien, A. Enders, Y.-S. Liu, and E. C. H. Sykes The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2016, 120, 6020-6030 [Cover Story] - N1 


"The Interplay of Covalency, Hydrogen Bonding and Dispersion Leads to a Long Range Chiral Network: The Example of 2-Butanol" M. L. Liriano, J. Carrasco, E. A. Lewis, C. J. Murphy, T. J. Lawton, M. D. Marcinkowski, A. J. Therrien, A. Michaelides, and E. C. H. Sykes The Journal of Chemical Physics 2016, 114, 094703 - D3


"Controlling Hydrogen Activation, Spillover, and Desorption with Pd-Au Single Atom Alloys" F. R. Lucci, M. T. Darby, M. F. G. Mattera, C. J. Ivimey, A. J. Therrien, A. Michaelides, M. Stamatakis, and E. C. H. Sykes The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2016, 7, 480-485 - D1


"Atomic-Scale Picture of the Composition, Decay, and Oxidation of Two-Dimensional Radioactive Films" A. Pronschinske, P. Pedevilla, B. Coughlin, C. J. Murphy, F. R. Lucci, M. A. Payne, A. J. Gellman, A. Michaelides, and E. C. H. Sykes ACS Nano 2016, 10, 2152-2158 - N1


"Selective Hydrogenation of 1,3-butadiene on Platinum-Copper Alloys at the Single-Atom Limit"
F. R. Lucci, J. Liu, M. D. Marcinkowski, M. Yang, L. F. Allard, M. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos,
and E. C. H. Sykes, Nature Communications, 2015, 6, 8550.

 

"Enhancement of Low-Energy Electron Emission in 2D Radioactive Films" A. Pronschinske, P. Pedevilla, C. J. Murphy, E. A. Lewis, F. R. Lucci, G. Brown, G. Pappas, A. Michaelides, and E. C. H. Sykes,
Nature Materials 2015, 14, 904-907.

 

"Controlling the Spillover Pathway with the Molecular Cork Effect" M. D. Marcinkowski, A. D. Jewell, M. Stamatakis, M. B. Boucher, E. A. Lewis, C. J. Murphy, G. Kyriakou, and E. C. H. Sykes, Nature Materials 2013, 12, 523-528.

"Isolated Metal Atom Geometries as a Strategy for Selective Heterogeneous Hydrogenations" G. Kyriakou, M. B. Boucher, A. D. Jewell, E. A. Lewis, T. J. Lawton, A. E. Baber, H. L. Tierney, M. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, and E. C. H. Sykes, Science 2012, 335, 1209-1212.

 

"Experimental Demonstration of a Single-Molecule Electric Motor", H. L. Tierney, C. J. Murphy, A. D. Jewell, A. E. Baber, E. V. Iski, H. Y. Khodaverdian, A. F. McGuire, N. Klebanov and E. C. H. Sykes, Nature Nanotechnology, 2011, 6, 625-629.

 

"Visualization of Hydrogen Bonding and Associated Chirality in Methanol Hexamers" T. J. Lawton, J. Carrasco, A. E. Baber, A. Michaelides, and E. C. H. Sykes - Physical Review Letters 2011, 107, 2561011-2561015.

 

"Regular Scanning Tunneling Microscope Tips Can Be Intrinsically Chiral" H. L. Tierney, C. J. Murphy, and E. C. H. Sykes - Physical Review Letters 2011, 106, 010801

 

"Atomic-Scale Geometry and Electronic Structure of Catalytically Important Pd/Au Alloys" A. E. Baber, H. L. Tierney, and E. C. H. Sykes - ACS Nano 2010, 4, 1637-1645.

 

"Hydrogen Dissociation and Spillover on Individual Isolated Palladium Atoms" H. L. Tierney, A. E. Baber, J. R. Kitchin and E. C. H. Sykes - Physical Review Letters 2009, 103, 2461021-2461024.

 

"A Quantitative Single-Molecule Study of Thioether Molecular Rotors" A. E. Baber, H. L. Tierney, and E. C. H. Sykes - ACS Nano 2008, 2, 2385-2391.


Complete listing of publications can be found HERE.



Selected Media & E/PO Links


- Boston Museum of Science Podcast "World's Smallest Motor" 21 Oct 2011

 

- BBC Radio 4's interview with Charlie Sykes on the Today Programme 5 Sept 2011

 

- Sykes group YouTube video "Exploring Nanoscale Machines" 17 Aug 2010

 

- Erin Iski et al.,"Education in Chemistry" YouTube Video 13 June 2008