Lichen Liu   Assistant Professor

Personal Information

Address:Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University

ORCID: 0000-0001-5067-0481

Personal website


2008-2012  Nanjing University,BS in Chemistry

2013-2018  Universitat Politècnica de València,PhD (Supervisor:Prof. Avelino Corma)

2018-2020   Universitat Politècnica de València,Postdoc (Supervisor:Prof. Avelino Corma)


The research of the Liu Group is focused on heterogeneous catalysis, with emphasis on the controllable synthesis of porous materials (such as zeolites) and their applications in catalytic transformations related to production of chemicals, fuels and environmental remediation. We are especially interested on the fundamental understanding of the structures of the active sites and the evolution behavior of solid catalysts during the catalytic processes. Besides, we also pursue to translate the knowledge and insights from fundamental research to practical applications.

Awards and honors

2020  Young Scientist Award, The International Association of Catalysis Societies

2020  Young Scientist Award, Government of Valencia

2020  International Precious Metal Institute, Student Award, Honorable Mention

2019  MRS Graduate Student Gold Award

2019  PhD cum Laude,Universitat Politècnica de València

2019  Reaxys PhD Prize Finalist

2018  European Young Chemist Award

2018  ACS Catalysis award for early-career researcher

2017  Chinese government award for outstanding self-financed students abroad

Recent selected publications

1.L. Liu and A. Corma*. Confining isolated atoms and clusters in crystalline porous materials for catalysis. Nature Reviews Materials, 2021, 6, 244-263.

2.L. Liu and A. Corma*. Structural transformations of solid electrocatalysts and photocatalysts. Nature Reviews Chemistry, 2021, in press. doi: 10.1038/s41570-021-00255-8.

3.L. Liu and A. Corma*. Identification of the active sites in supported subnanometric metal catalysts. Nature Catalysis, 2021, in press.

4.L. Liu, M. Lopez-Haro, J. J. Calvino and A. Corma*. Tutorial: structural characterization of isolated metal atoms and subnanometric metal clusters in zeolites. Nature Protocols, 2021, in press. doi: 10.1038/s41596-020-0366-9.

5.L. Liu and A. Corma*. Isolated Metal Atoms and Clusters for alkane activation: translating knowledge from enzymatic and homogeneous to heterogeneous systems. Chem, 2021, in press.

6.L. Liu, M. Lopez-Haro, C. W. Lopes, S. Rojas-Buzo, P. Concepcion, R. Manzorro, L. Simonelli, A. Sattler, P. Serna, J. J. Calvino and A. Corma*. Structural modulation and direct measurement of subnanometric bimetallic PtSn clusters confined in zeolites. Nature Catalysis, 2020, 3, 628-638.

7.L. Liu, M. Lopez-Haro, D.M. Meira, P. Concepcion, J.J. Calvino and A. Corma*. Regioselective Generation of SingleSite Ir Atoms and their Evolution into Stabilized Subnanometric Ir Clusters in MWW Zeolite. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2020, 59, 15695-15702.

8.L. Liu and A. Corma*. Evolution of Isolated Atoms and Clusters in Catalysis. Trends in Chemistry, 2020, 2, 383-400.

9.L. Liu, M. Lopez-Haro, C. W. Lopes, C. Li, P. Concepcion, L. Simonelli, J. J. Calvino and A. Corma*. Regioselective generation and reactivity control of subnanometric platinum clusters in zeolites for high-temperature catalysis. Nature Materials, 2019, 18, 866-873.

10.L. Liu, D.M. Meira, R. Arenal, P. Concepcion, A.V. Puga, A. Corma*. Determination of the Evolution of Heterogeneous Single Metal Atoms and Nanoclusters under Reaction Conditions: Which Are the Working Catalytic Sites? ACS Catalysis 2019, 9, 10626-10639.

11.E. Fernández# (co-first author), L. Liu# (co-first author), M. Boronat, R. Arenal, P. Concepcion and A. Corma*. Low-Temperature Catalytic NO Reduction with CO by Subnanometric Pt Clusters. ACS Catalysis 2019, 9, 11530-11541.

12.L. Liu, P. Concepcion and A. Corma*. Modulating the catalytic behavior of non-noble metal nanoparticles by inter-particle interaction for chemoselective hydrogenation of nitroarenes into corresponding azoxy or azo compounds. Journal of Catalysis, 2019, 369, 312-323.

13.L. Liu, R. Arenal, D.M. Motta and A. Corma*. Generation of Gold Nanoclusters Encapsulated in MCM-22 Zeolite for Aerobic Oxidation of Cyclohexane. Chemical Communications, 2019, 55, 1607-1610.

14.L. Liu and A. Corma*. Metal Catalysts for Heterogeneous Catalysis: From Single Atoms to Nanoclusters and Nanoparticles. Chemical Reviews, 2018, 118, 4981-5079.

15.L. Liu, D.N. Zakharov, R. Arenal, P. Concepcion, E.A. Stach and A. Corma*. Evolution and stabilization of subnanometric metal species in confined space by in situ TEM. Nature Communications, 2018, 9, 574.

16.L. Liu, A. V. Puga, J. Cored, P. Concepción, V. Pérez-Dieste, H. García* and A. Corma*. Sunlight-assisted hydrogenation of CO2 into ethanol and C2+ hydrocarbons by sodium-promoted Co@C nanocomposites. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 2018, 235, 186-196.

17.L. Liu, U. Díaz, R. Arenal, G. Agostini, P. Concepción and A. Corma*. Generation of subnanometric platinum with high stability during transformation of a 2D zeolite into 3D. Nature Materials, 2017, 16, 132-138.

18.L. Liu, F. Gao, P. Concepcion and A. Corma*. A new strategy to transform mono and bimetallic non-noble metal nanoparticles into highly active and chemoselective hydrogenation catalysts. Journal of Catalysis, 2017, 350, 218-225.

19.L. Liu, P. Conception and A. Corma*. Non-noble metal catalysts for hydrogenation: A facile method for preparing Co nanoparticles covered with thin layered carbon. Journal of Catalysis, 2016, 340, 1-9.

20.L. Liu, T. Matsushita, P. Concepción, A. Leyva-Pérez and A. Corma*. Facile synthesis of surface-clean monodispersed CuOx nanoparticles and their catalytic properties for oxidative coupling of alkynes. ACS Catalysis, 2016, 6, 2211-2221.