Y-H. Chin

Y-H ChinProfessor, B.Sc. (Oklahoma), M.Sc. (Oklahoma), Ph.D. (UC Berkeley)
Associate Chair, Research
Canada Research Chair in Advanced Catalysis for Sustainable Chemistry

Room: WB12
Tel: 416-978-8868
Email: cathy.chin@utoronto.ca
Website: https://www.labs.chem-eng.utoronto.ca/catalysis/



  • North American Catalysis Society
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineering
  • Canadian Catalysis Society


  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship (2018)
  • Emerging Leader in Chemical Engineering (2017), Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE)
  • Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Advanced Catalysis for Sustainable Chemistry (2016)
  • Bill Burgess Teacher of the Year Award for Large Classes (2015)
  • Ontario Early Researcher Award (2014)
  • Imperial Oil University Research Award (2014)


Many of the challenges across the fields of environment, health, medicine, and energy can be addressed through advances in catalytic technology. The goal of my research is to advance catalytic technology by providing a deep understanding of its science at the molecular level. A second goal of this effort is to apply this new knowledge to the design of materials with novel kinetic functions that enable desirable chemical reactions to occur selectively and efficiently.

My research group synthesizes catalytic materials with purpose-built structures and compositions and applies combined methods of kinetics, spectroscopy, microkinetic modeling, and isotopic analysis to probe their dynamics and kinetic consequences in chemical reactions under conditions relevant to industrial practice. These fundamental studies are carried out in parallel with designing and fabricating “chemical-plants-on-a-chip” as compact and light-weight micro-reactor systems for small scale fuel and chemical processing.

Aside from the full range materials synthesis, kinetic evaluation, and spectroscopy capabilities in our laboratory, our group carries out in-situ X-ray absorption studies and perform theoretical calculations at the various national scientific user centers in Canada and the United States. We also collaborate extensively with experts in the complimentary disciplines of surface science and theoretical modeling.

Selected Publications

  • Petar Lachkov and Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin, Catalytic Consequences of Reactive Oxygen Species during C3H6 Oxidation on Ag Clusters, J. Catal., (2018), doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2018.07.011
  • Fan Lin, Junyan Zhang, Dongxia Liu, and Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin, Cascade Reactions in Tunable Lamellar Micro-Mesopores for C=C Bond Coupling and Hydrocarbon Synthesis, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., (2018), doi:10.1002/anie.201803929
  • Weifeng Tu, Mireille Ghoussoub, Chandra Veer Singh, and Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin, Consequences of Surface Oxophilicity of Ni, Ni-Co, and Co Clusters on Methane Activation, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 139(2017), 6928-6945, doi:10.1021/jacs.7b01632
  • F. Lin, Y-H. Chin. Catalytic pathways and kinetic requirements for alkanal deoxygenation on solid tungstosilicic acid clusters. ACS Catal. 2016, 5(6), 6634-6650.
  • J. Shangguan, M. V. Olarte, Y-H. Chin. Mechanistic insights on C-O and C-C bond activation and hydrogen insertion during acetic acid hydrogenation catalyzed by ruthenium clusters in aqueous medium. J. Catal., 2016, 340, 107-121.
  • F. Lin, Y-H. Chin. Alkanal transfer hydrogenation catalyzed by solid Brønsted acid sites. J. Catal., 2016, 341, 136-148.
  • W-F. Tu, Y-H. Chin. Catalytic consequences of chemisorbed oxygen during methanol oxidative dehydrogenation on Pd clusters. ACS Catal. 2015, 5(6), 3375-3386.
  • W-F. Tu, Y-H. Chin. Catalytic consequences of the thermodynamic activities at metal cluster surfaces and their periodic reactivity trend for methanol oxidation. Angewandte Chemie, 2014, 53 (45), 12148-12152.
  • F. Lin, Y-H. Chin. Mechanism of intra- and inter-molecular C=C bond formation of propanal over Brønsted acid sites contained within MFI zeolites. J. Catal. 2014, 311, 244-256.
  • W-F. Tu, Y-H. Chin. Catalytic consequences of the identity and coverages of reactive intermediates during methanol partial oxidation on Pt Clusters. J. Catal. 2014, 313, 55-69.

Selected Patents