Postdoctoral Scholar, SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis, Stanford University / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Advisor: Professor Anders Nilsson
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of California at Santa Barbara; Advisor: Professor Alec Wodtke
B.A. in Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Willamette University
Catalysts are the unsung heroes of chemistry: Widely used in industry, they speed up chemical reactions by making the reactions much more efficient. Many important reactions related to global issues, such as climate change and carbon-neutral fuel production, take place on the surfaces of metal catalysts. Today we know very little about how these reactions proceed. Dr. LaRue’s research interests are aimed at understanding the most fundamental aspects of the processes that occur during chemical reactions on these catalytic surfaces. His current projects involve using ultrafast optical techniques, x-ray spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy to probe the elementary steps of chemical reactions on metal crystals and nanoparticles, with the goal of creating more efficient catalysts to help combat the global challenges we face today.
Heterogeneous catalysis, surface science, lasers, x-rays, physical chemistry, spectroscopy, nanomaterials, metals