Bridging the complexity gap in computational heterogeneous catalysis with machine learning

Tianyou Mou, Hemanth Somarajan Pillai, Siwen Wang, Mingyu Wan, Xue Han, Neil M. Schweitzer, Fanglin Che, Hongliang Xin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Heterogeneous catalysis underpins a wide variety of industrial processes including energy conversion, chemical manufacturing and environmental remediation. Significant advances in computational modelling towards understanding the nature of active sites and elementary reaction steps have occurred over the past few decades. The complexity gap between theory and experiment, however, remains overwhelming largely due to the limiting length and timescales of ab initio simulations, which severely impede the discovery of high-performance catalytic materials. This Review summarizes recent developments and applications of machine learning to narrow and, optimistically, bridge the gap created by the dynamic, mechanistic and chemostructural complexities inherent to the reactive interfaces of practical relevance. We foresee the prospects and challenges of machine learning for the automated design of sustainable catalytic technologies within a data-centric ecosystem that coevolves with computational and data sciences. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-136
Number of pages15
JournalNature Catalysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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