Understanding and optimizing the design of catalysts at the nanoscale is integral to their performance in chemical reactions. Carbon, silica and alumina supported noble metal catalysts are widely used in hydrogenation-dehydrogenation reactions, oxidation reactions, decomposition reactions etc. It is oft-observed that the pre- and post- synthesis catalyst structure and composition is coupled with its surroundings: ambient air, catalyst support, temperature etc. These fundamental changes can have a defining effect on the metal nanoparticle composition which may change the outcome of a chemical reaction. Thus, our goal is to employ proper synthesis and characterization techniques to focus on the fundamental aspects of catalyst structure, property and function to explain these root level phenomenon and design better catalysts.