Electrode-Electrolyte Interfaces

Electrode-Electrolyte Interfaces

Minerva Fast-Track Group

In electrocatalysis, the electrolyte is normally used to conduct charge between the two electrodes in which reactions are taking place. The cations and anions present in this conductive media, are however not just mere spectators. These species can strongly impact reaction activity, selectivity and even catalyst stability. Still, a lack of understanding these electrolyte effects and the underlying mechanisms hinders the optimization of electrocatalytic processes via electrolyte engineering.

In the Electrode-Electrolyte Interfaces group we study the fundamentals of surface-electrolyte interactions using classical electrochemistry and also operando techniques as Surface X-Ray Diffraction. Our goal is to unveil how the nature of ions in the electrolyte affects reactions relevant for our society´s energy transition – as the production of green H2 in water electrolysers and the reduction of O2 in fuel cells. To this end, we also explore strategies to tune the interfacial ion concentration and pH in order to favor such reactions, for example via modification of electrodes with metal hydroxides.

We are particularly interested in non-noble multi-metallic catalyst systems. How does the electrolyte affect the activity/selectivity of nanostructured, multicomponent catalysts? Through which mechanism can hydroxides catalyze reactions? What is the structure and composition of the electrocatalyst in different electrolytes under operando conditions? How does the nature of the charged substrate influence the ordering of interfacial water and ions?

Combining fundamental electrochemistry studies with detailed characterization using the broad range of techniques available at the Department of Interface Science, the goal is to fundamentally understand the electrocatalytic interface of practical systems at the molecular level.

Group Members

Dr. Mariana C. O. Monteiro

Dr. Mariana C. O. Monteiro

Group Leader (Minerva Fast-Track)
Office: F4.17 | Phone: +49 30 8413-4610
MSc E. Öykü Alagöz

MSc E. Öykü Alagöz

PhD student
Office: F2.09 | Phone: +49 30 8413-4456
Ziqing Lao

Ziqing Lao

Master intern
Office: F1.02a-I | Phone: +49 30 8413-4142
Seenal Mates Lopes

Seenal Mates Lopes

HiWi
Office: F1.02a-II | Phone: +49 30 8413-4269

Former members/guests

Dr. María Retuerto Millán, Guest scientist,  m.retuerto@csic.es (Google Scholar)

MSc Miriam Lopez Garcia, Guest PhD student, miriam.lopez@incar.csic.es 

Vacancies

There are currently no open positions. Spontaneous inquiries for MSc internships, or PhD and Postdoc positions, are welcome by email.

News

Dr. Mariana Monteiro receives a Minerva Fast-Track Fellowship

Two awards for her outstanding PhD thesis

Publications

2024
A. Martini, J. Timoshenko, M. Rüscher, D. Hursán, M.C.O. Monteiro, E. Liberra and B. Roldan Cuenya: Revealing the structure and kinetics of active sites for the electrocatalytic CO2 reduction in Co single atom catalysts using operando XANES and machine learning. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, in press.
J. Timoshenko, C. Rettenmaier, D. Hursán, M. Rüscher, E. Ortega, A. Herzog, T. Wagner, A. Bergmann, U. Hejral, A. Yoon, A. Martini, E. Liberra, M.C.O. Monteiro and B. Roldan Cuenya: Reversible Metal Cluster Formation on Nitrogen-doped Carbon: Steering the Electrocatalyst’s Particle Size with Subnanometer Accuracy. Nature Communications, in press.

Talks

2024
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Probing the Electrode-Electrolyte Interface in Electrocatalysis. Synchrotron Electrochemistry Workshop 2024, Oxford, UK (2024)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Tailor-Made Electrocatalytic Interfaces for Enhanced Water Reactivity. Materials for Sustainable Development Conference, MATSUS24, Barcelona, Spain (2024)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Probing the Electrode-Electrolyte Interface in Electrocatalysis. Symposium, Renewable energy conversion and in situ characterization for electrocatalysis, Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Barcelona, Spain (2024)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Probing the Electrode-Electrolyte Interface in Electrocatalysis. The Netherlands' Catalysis and Chemistry Conference, NCCC 2024, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands (2024)
2023
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Probing the Electrode-Electrolyte Interface in Electrocatalysis. Chemical Energy Seminar, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), Berlin, Germany (2023)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Probing the Electrode-Electrolyte Interface During Hydrogen Evolution. SpinCat workshop, Interfacial Electrochemistry and Electrolysis, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2023)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Probing Electrode-Electrolyte Interactions Under Operando Conditions. 74th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry, Lyon, France (2023)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Cation Effects on Hydrogen Evolution: Uncovering Heroes and Villains. iCANX Youth Talks, Online Event (2023)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: The Electrochemical Interface During CO2 Reduction: From Understanding to Engineering. Debye Colloquium, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2023)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: About Local pH, Monkeys and Stubbornness. Symposium, Amcel PhD Award lecture, Amsterdam Center for Electrochemistry, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2023)
2022
Monteiro, M. C. O.: The Role of Cations on CO2 Reduction and H2 Evolution. NWO CHAINS 2022, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2022)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: Metal Cations in the Electrolyte: Uncovering Heroes and Villains. Regional Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry, Prague, Czech Republic (2022)
Monteiro, M. C. O.: The Role of Cations on CO2 Reduction and H2 Evolution: Uncovering Heroes and Villains. Electrochemical Energy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, Online Event (2022)
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