Cynthia M. Friend

Cynthia M. Friend

Principal Investigator, Friend Lab
T.W. Richards Prof. of Chemistry & Prof. of Materials Science
Director of Rowland Institute & Director EFRC-IMASC
Cynthia M. Friend

Research in the Friend group is focused on addressing global challenges in reducing energy costs through the development of sustainable chemical processes using heterogeneous catalysis.  The research in our lab develops detailed models of chemical reactivity at surfaces in order to provide a framework for understanding catalytic transformation of oxygenated organic molecules.  We apply these models to realistic working conditions for catalysis as a means of designed and developing new and efficient processes.

Currently, there are two major research areas:  (1) selective catalytic syntheses promoted by oxygen on coinage metals (Au, Ag, and Cu) and their alloys with the objective of designing and testing sustainable chemical processes; and, (2) control of chemical properties of metal oxides with emphasis on driving thermodynamically uphill reactions, such as water splitting, oxidation and reduction of oxygenated pollutants, and CO2 reduction, using photons, heat and electrochemical activation with the goal of identifying photocatalysts that can efficiently promote key reactions using visible light.

Members of the Friend group receive broad-based and rigorous training in the use of modern tools for imaging and spectroscopy along with understanding reactivity.  Former group members have enjoyed successful careers in a broad range of areas.

Prof. Friend has been a member of the Harvard faculty since 1982 and has served in numerous leadership positions, including Department Chair, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and co-PI of the NSF-funded Harvard MRSEC (2002-2011).  She also served as Associate Lab Director at SLAC National Accelerator Lab in 2011-12. Friend is currently a Senior editor of Accounts of Chemical Research, is also on the editorial boards of ACS Catalysis, Chemical Science, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society and is Director of The Rowland Institute at Harvard and IMASC EFRC Director.

Contact Information

Friend Research Group
Harvard University
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
12 Oxford Street, M018
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: (617) 495-4198, Lab: (617) 495-3331