Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame



Brandon Ashfeld

Office:  305D McCourtney Hall

Phone:  574-631-1727


Department Website

Group Website

Current Position
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin
B.S., Chemistry, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Research Interests
Controlling CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion is widely considered a grand challenge of the 21st century. The success of worldwide efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions is ultimately tied to the effective implementation of carbon separation (CS) technologies. It is in this area where the cost of implementation and maintenance expose the inadequacies of current separation technologies. We seek to address this challenge through a covalent bonding strategy in material design to control anthropogenic CO2 concentrations in an energy efficient fashion. Our ultimate goal is the development of a revolutionary, regenerative material where CO2 absorption/desorption is controlled through a non-thermal trigger to reduce the parasitic energy requirement of carbon capture.

Key Words
Carbon Capture, Catalysis, CO2 Reduction, Ionic Liquids, Organic Synthesis, Reaction Development, Target Directed Synthesis, Phosphorus, Chemoselectivity, Heterocycle Synthesis

Five Relevant Energy Publications

  1. Chavannavar, A. P.; Oliver, A. G.; Ashfeld, B. L. “An Umpolung Approach Toward N-Aryl Nitrone Construction: Phosphine-Mediated Addition of 1,2-Dicarbonyls to Nitroso Electrophiles.” Chem. Commun. 2014, 50 (74), 10853-10856.
  2. Vogt, M.; Wu, C.; Oliver, A. G.; Schneider, W. F.; Ashfeld, B. L. "Site Specific Carboxylation of Abnormal Anionic N-Heterocyclic Dicarbenes with CO2." Chem. Commun. 2013, 49 (98), 11527-11529.
  3. Lee, D.; Zhang, C.; Wei, C.; Ashfeld, B. L.; Gao, H. “Developing Hierarchically Porous Polypyrrole Materials for Fast and Efficient CO2 Capture.” J. Mater. Chem. A 2013, 1 (47), 14862-14867.
  4. Vogt, M.; Bennett, J. E.; Huang, Y.; Wu, C.; Brennecke, J. F.; Schneider, W. F.; Ashfeld, B. L. "Solid State Covalent Capture of CO2 Using N-Heterocyclic Carbenes." Chem. Eur. J. 2013, 19 (34), 11134-11138.
  5. Meyer, C. J.; Vogt, M.; Catalino, J.; Ashfeld, B. L., "Synthesis of N-Heterocyclic Anionic Ionic Liquids from Functionalized Phosphonium Halides." Synlett 2013, 24, 1428-1432.