Institute of Nanochemistry and Catalysis Chemical Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Address: H-1025 Budapest, Pusztaszeri út 59-67.
  Postal Address: H-1525 Budapest, P.O. Box 17


József Valyon D.Sc.

  Telephone: (36-1) 438-1166


(36-1) 438-1164

  Web site:


The main research fields of the Institute are as follows:

  • nanostructured materials,
  • self-assembled nanolayers,
  • surface characterization and modification,
  • heterogeneous catalytic reactions.

The main aspects of the research strategy in the nanoscience field are as follows:

  • novel approaches of nano-sized particles and layers by surface and interface characterization,
  • modeling uniform nano-systems by sophisticated surface spectroscopy of molecular level for understanding the active surface,
  • elucidation of surface reaction pathways for the modification of certain properties (e.g., smart coatings).

Creating nanostructuring surfaces and nanostructured coatings and interfaces in films using top-down and bottom-up processes offers great potential for designing and developing next generation materials and structures for applications. One of the main challenges in this area is to devise strategies that integrate nano-scale superstructures (e.g., nanoparticles, nanotubes) and their assemblies with conventional technologies via traditional and newly evolving variants of techniques such as vapor deposition, laser alloying, and combinatorial approaches.

The chemistry and physics of surfaces and interfaces are among the most challenging and exciting areas of condensed matter science. Moreover, advances in the technology of surface modification have a fundamental impact on industries in diverse fields such as telecommunications, petroleum, superconductivity, computer science, minerals, and chemicals.

Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on organic interfaces provide a unique link between the science of organic surfaces and technologies. SAMs are model systems for the study of organic and biological interfaces and are of technical interest for the fabrication of sensors, transducers, protective layers, and for lubrication, and as patternable materials.

Research on heterogeneous catalysts is focused on the knowledge about the optimum surface restructuring that is necessary for the stability of the active sites, functionalizing the surface and development of multi-functional catalysts.

The main fields are as follows:

  • modification of the nano-environment in catalytically active materials,
  • low temperature oxidation,
  • heterogeneous catalytic activation of carbonyl compounds,
  • asymmetric heterogeneous catalysis.

Catalytic materials studied are:

  • supported nano-structured mono- and multi-metallic clusters,
  • anchored metal complexes,
  • multicomponent metal oxides,
  • micro- and mesoporous materials.

High-throughput experimentation and combinatorial material science for the preparation and testing of different new catalytic materials are preferably applied.

The current research topics are as follows

  • Design and preparation of nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery
  • Development of spatially ordered nanotube structures, their optimization and testing for supercapacitor applications
  • L-malic acid-based biopolymers for pharmaceutical and food industry
  • Noble metal nanopowders for innovative applications (sensors, filters, catalysts)
  • Development of gas sensors and detection procedures based on interdigitated arrays and nanocoatings
  • Functional nanolayer by surface modification – self assembly, inhibition, sol-gel, Langmuir-Blodgett and CVD
  • Investigation of phosphonates as environmentally friendly components in water-soluble coatings
  • Applicability of the sol-gel process used to produce magnetic hexaferrite composites
  • Increase of the efficiency of Langmuir-Blodgett layers by addition of various metal-ions applied in the subphase
  • Carbon nanotube functionalization by development of chemical and physical methods
  • Development of characterization methods of the functionalized carbon nanotube
  • Investigation of polymer-carbon nanocomposite dispersion
  • Investigation of the local surface energy by using modified AFM sensors
  • Development of new nano-mechanical and nano-tribological investigation techniques
  • Development of nano-abrasive techniques based on scanning-probe-microscopy
  • Mechanistic studies on oxidase and oxygenase models
  • Study of catalytic bleaching with metal complexes
  • Studies on the modification of supported metal catalysts and support materials by tin tetraalkyls. Investigation of the formation of nanolayers and surface species by spectroscopic methods
  • Studies on the CO oxidation over various supported catalysts. Development of highly active, highly selective and stable catalysts for selective CO oxidation in the presence of hydrogen
  • Investigation of the full oxidation of methane and other hydrocarbons, such as propane and propylene and selective oxidation of propylene to propylene oxide
  • Research on the hydrogenation of activated ketones in the presence of cinchona-Pt catalysts. Preparation of new types of catalysts containing anchored metal complexes and their testing in asymmetric hydrogenation reactions
  • Application of methods of combinatorial catalysis and high-throughput experimentation both in the oxidation and selective hydrogenation reactions. Optimization of the activity and selectivity of catalysts and the determination of the optimum reaction conditions
  • Development of catalytic processes for the production of second generation biofuels
  • Selective catalytic NO reduction over Pd,In-zeolite catalysts
  • Preparation of wide-pore metallosilicates from delaminated zeolite [Fe]-, and [Ti]-MCM-22 by thermal treatment or pillaring
  • Preparation of zeolite membranes and membrane catalysts by solid-state recrystallization of layer silicates
  • Development of novel Ni/zeolite bifunctional catalyst for selective hydrocracking and isomerisation of straight-chain paraffins in Diesel oils
  • Preparation of mesoporous nickel silicate catalysts and their examination in the hydrogenation of aromatics
  • Synthesis, structural and photocatalytic properties of mesoporous titania
  • Preparation of composites of macroporous and/or mesoporous materials and zeolites
  • Functionalized micro- and mesoporous sorbents for water purification
  • Studies to establish the use of mineral refuse as secondary raw material
  • Biomolecular adsorption at liquid/air and liquid/solid interfaces
  • Surface studies of surfactant mixtures and polymer-surfactant mixtures
  • Characterization of nanostructured Ti and TiO2 surfaces by electron spectroscopy
  • Characterization of surface nanostructures by XPS and UPS, and investigations of their gas adsorption properties by SFG spectroscopy