Hello, World! I am a graduate research assistant at Purdue University conducting research in the field of catalysis. I aspire to continue pushing the limits of humankind's understanding of the universe through research, teaching, and service in academia.

I enjoy reading and learning about the development of scientific models, theories, and laws... and still find quantum theory of the micro-world profoundly mind-blowing even though it has already been around for over a century. I am a musician and have played the tuba in a number of concert and marching bands over the years. To this day, my favorite piece performed with a concert band is Twelve Seconds to the Moon by Robert W. Smith. One piece I listen to every day is 4'33'' by John Cage.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic and Professional Media

Current Research - Reduction of toxic nitrogen oxides in emissions

NOx (NO and NO2) emissions from diesel truck exhaust are an environmental concern as they contribute to over 50% of all NOx emitted in the USA. Governmental regulations by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has capped NOx emission limits from unregulated levels of 20 g/kWh to less than 0.67 g/kWh (>97% decrease) over the last 50 years. Cu-exchanged SSZ-13 zeolite catalysts are currently used commercially to convert NO (precursor of smog and acid rain), NH3 (produced from thermal decomposition of urea), and O2 from diesel engine exhaust to N2 and H2O via a process called Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).

My research in Professor Fabio Ribeiro’s group involves understanding the molecular chemistry behind how copper-ion catalysts convert NO, NH3, and O2 from diesel engine exhaust to harmless N2 and H2O. We approach this by measuring intrinsic kinetics and operando spectroscopy to obtain insights into the chemistry of these materials under reaction conditions to identify and construct the molecular nature of active sites and reaction mechanisms.

Previous Research - Carbon Capture

Carbon capture involves the capture, storage, and economical release of CO2 to reduce CO2 emissions, often at the source of generation (e.g. fossil fuel stack gases). Current commercial systems use liquid amine solutions to capture CO2 and suffer from corrosion of equipment from corrosive amines and the high energy cost to heat the amine solution for regeneration. Functionalizing these amines on solid adsorbents is a promising alternative due to ease of handling solids and elimination of corrosion on equipment. Solid adsorbents, however, are still not economically viable to its lower CO2 adsorption capacity compared to liquid amine solutions.

My research in Professor Ralph Yang's group focused on studying how various SBA-15 synthesis conditions affected the resulting silanol (Si-OH) densities. Since silanols are the sites at which amines are grafted onto the material, a higher density of these sites are desired for higher CO2 storage.


Image created by Arthur Shih

Previous Research - UV-Cured Plastic Films

Plastic films are used everyday for decorative (laptop and bumper stickers) and functional (fruit labels, sticky notes, screen protectors) purposes. They are produced by exposing a liquid chemical layer consisting of monomers, oligomers, photo-initiators, and other chemicals (e.g. inks) to UV light.

In my work at Avery Dennison, I studied the effects of various variables (coating thickness, UV-curing time, chemical formulations, etc.) on properties of the plastic film (yield and tensile strength, chemical resistance, etc.).


Image from Bill Cortelyou.

Previous Research - Cancer Imaging and Therapy

Current medical procedures to treat cancer are (1) surgical removal of cancer tissue, or (2) chemotherapy. These methods, however, do not selectively distinguish cancer tissue from healthy tissue resulting in (1) accidental surgical removal of healthy tissue or (2) harm of healthy tissue via chemotherapy. Due to the low selectivity, research on methods to identify and treat cancer tissue at the source without affecting healthy tissue is a hot topic in biomedical research.

Conventional wisdom on the development of cancer states that surface proteins on healthy cells change during the transition to cancerous cells. In Professor Thomas Wang's research lab, I screened various peptide molecules linked to a fluorescent imaging agent on esophageal and colon cancer cell lines. Candidate peptide molecules were found to bind to cancer cells but not to healthy cells.

Reading List

Currently Reading:




Links and Contact

Arthur Shih

Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering

480 Stadium Mall Drive

West Lafayette, IN 47907

Email: shih9 [at] purdue.edu