Tysoe, Wilfred

Distinguished Professor


Ph. D., University of Cambridge, England



Research Areas

Our research focuses on understanding chemical reactions occurring at surfaces with particular emphasis on catalysis, tribology and on the formation of thin films with tailored properties. Experiments are generally carried out in ultrahigh vacuum (where the pressure is ~1x10-10 Torr) enabling us to study clean, well-characterized samples. A wide range of analytical techniques are used to probe the interfacial chemistry including reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS), low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) intensity versus energy measurements, low-energy ion scattering, Auger and photoelectron spectroscopies, molecular beam methods, temperature-programmed desorption and atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). In addition, capabilities are available for carrying out high-pressure catalytic reactions using a reactor cell incorporated in an ultrahigh vacuum chamber and for making tribological measurements in ultrahigh vacuum.

Work in the area of catalysis emphasizes understanding catalytic reaction pathways at a molecular level, focusing on the synthesis of vinyl acetate on palladium and gold palladium alloys and on understanding the molecular origins of chiral catalysis.

We are also investigating the frictional properties of lubricant additives that thermally decompose on the surface to form a solid lubricating film. This work has primarily focused on the way in which sulfur-, phosphorus- and chlorine-containing molecules react since these types of molecule are often used as lubricant additives. The frictional properties of well-characterized thin films are explored in ultrahigh vacuum in order to correlate the physical properties of the films and substrates with the resulting frictional properties.

We are also investigating the electronic properties of metal-containing molecular wires to obtain a fundamental understanding of electron conduction at the nanoscale. This work is funded from an array of sources, including industry, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the American Chemical Society, and the U.S. Navy.

Selected Publications

Measuring and Modeling Activation Volumes in Mechanochemical Reactions, Alejandro Boscoboinik, Dustin Olson, Heather Adams, Nicholas Hopper and Wilfred T. Tysoe, Chemical Communications, 56, 7730-7733 (2020)

Mechanism of the Accelerated Water Formation Reaction under Interfacial Confinement, Mengen Wang, Chen Zhou, Nusnin Akter, Wilfred T. Tysoe, J. Anibal Boscoboinik, and Deyu Lu, ACS Catal. 10, 6119–6128 (2020)

Probing the Outermost Layer of Thin Gold Films by XPS and Density Functional Theory, Cristiana Passiua, Antonella Rossi, Michael T. Weinert, Wilfred Tysoe, and Nicholas D. Spencer, Applied Surface Science, 507, 145084 (2020)

The Reactivity, Selectivity and Structure of 2-butanol on Clean and Oxygen-covered Au/Pd(100) Alloys, Zhenjun Li and Wilfred T. Tysoe, Surface Science, 694, 121556 (2020)

Tribochemical Mechanisms of Trimethyl and Triethyl Phosphite on Oxidized Iron in Ultrahigh Vacuum, Resham Rana and Wilfred Tysoe, Tribology Letters, 67, 93 (2019)

Chemical Self-Assembly Strategies for Designing Molecular Electronic Circuits, Dustin Olson, Alejandro Boscoboinik and Wilfred T Tysoe, Chemical Communications, 55, 13872-13875 (2019)

Influence of Dimple Shape on Tribofilm Formation and Tribological Properties of Textured Surfaces under Full and Starved Lubrication, Yufu Xu, Quan Zheng; Rasha Abuflaha; Dustin Olson; Octavio Furlong; Tao You; Qiangqiang Zhang; Xianguo Hu; Wilfred  Tysoe, Tribology International, 136, 267-275 (2019)

Chemical Self-Assembly Strategies for Designing Molecular Electronic Circuits; Demonstration of Concept, Dustin Olson, Alejandro Boscoboinik, Sergio Manzi and Wilfred T Tysoe, J. Phys. Chem. C, 123, 10348-10405 (2019)

Combining IR Spectroscopy and Monte Carlo Simulations to Identify CO Adsorption Sites on Bimetallic Alloys, Sergio J. Manzi, Mariela A. Brites Helú, Wilfred T. Tysoe, and Florencia C. Calaza, J. Phys. Chem. C, 123, 8406-8420 (2019)

Structure of Alanine Anionic-Zwitterionic Dimers on Pd(111); Formation of Salt Bridges, Luke Burkholder, S.E. Chamberlin, Hanna Kraffczyk, Mathew Michels, Alejandro Boscoboinik, Heather Adams, Nicholas Hopper, Georg Held, Carol Hirschmugl, and Wilfred T. Tysoe, Surface Science, 679, 79-85 (2019)

Spontaneous Self-assembly of Conductive Molecular Linkages between Gold Nanoelectrodes from Aryl Diisocyanides, Rasha Abuflaha and Wilfred T Tysoe, Applied Physics A, 124, 784 (2018)

Easy Alloying on Flat Carbides, Wilfred Tysoe. Nature Catalysis, 1, 316-317 (2018)

Effect of Coverage on Catalytic Selectivity and Activity on Metallic and Alloy Catalysts; Vinyl Acetate Monomer Synthesis, Matthew Neurock and Wilfred Tysoe, Topics in Catalysis, 61, 722-725 (2018).

Characterization of the Tribological Behavior of the Textured Steel Surfaces Fabricated by Photolithographic Etching, Yufu Xu, Jingyuan Yu, Jian Geng, Rasha Abuflaha, Dustin Olson, Xianguo Hu, Wilfred T. Tysoe, Tribology Letters, 66, 55 (2018)

Development of a ReaxFF Force Field for Cu/S/C/H and Reactive MD Simulations of Methyl Thiolate Decomposition on Cu (100), Jejoon Yeon, Heather Adams, Chad Junkermeier, Adri van Duin, Wilfred Tysoe and Ashlie Martini, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 122, 888-896 (2018)

Adsorption and Structure of Chiral Epoxides on Pd(111): Propylene Oxide and Glycidol, Mausumi Mahapatra, Yun Bai and Wilfred T. Tysoe, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 122, 1215-1222 (2018)

Vinyl Acetate Formation on Au/Pd(100) Alloy Surfaces, Theodore Thuening and Wilfred T. Tysoe, Catalysis Letters, 148, 79-89 (2018)

Kinetics and Mechanism of Vinyl Acetate Monomer Synthesis on Pd(100) Model Catalysts, Theodore Thuening and Wilfred T. Tysoe, Catalysis Letters, 147, 1941–1954 (2017)

Modeling Mechanochemical Reaction Mechanisms, Heather Adams, Brendan P. Miller, Octavio J. Furlong, Marzia Fantauzzi, Gabriele Navarra, Antonella Rossi, Yufu Xu, Peter V. Kotvis and Wilfred T. Tysoe, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 9, 26351-26538 (2017)

On Stress-Induced Tribochemical Reaction Rates, Wilfred T. Tysoe, Tribology Letters, 65, 48 (2017)

Adsorption, Assembly and Oligomerization of Aspartic Acid on Pd(111), Mausumi Mahapatra, Jerry Praeger and Wilfred T. Tysoe, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121, 13239–13248 (2017)

Surface Chemistry: Giving Catalysts a Hand, Wilfred T. Tysoe, Nature Chemistry 9, 503-504 (2017)

Enhanced Hydrogenation Activity and Diastereomeric Interactions of Methyl Pyruvate Co-adsorbed with R-1-(1-Naphthylethylamine) on Pd(111)Mausumi Mahapatra, Luke Burkholder, Michael Garvey, Yun Bai, Dilano Saldin and Wilfred T. Tysoe, Nature Communications7, 12380 (2016).