Dynamics at Electrocatalytic Interfaces
Comprehensive and fundamental understanding of the physical and chemical processes during electrochemical energy conversion is critical to optimize electrochemical devices. Therefore, the fundamental research has to be coordinated with the applied research and technologically realization. Our key reactions comprise the electrochemical conversion of greenhouse gases and environmentally pollutant molecules to store energy from renewable power sources and to produce feedstock chemicals and fuels.
In particular, we aim to identify key properties to efficiently produce hydrocarbons, like ethylene, and alcohols, like ethanol, from CO2 as well as H2 and ammonia from water and nitrate in CO2RR, OER, and NO3RR. All these reactions comprise bond-breaking and ‑making steps which we aim to understand on electrocatalytically-relevant time scales.
Our approach comprises well-defined model catalysts in which key properties of realistic catalysts (supported nanoparticles or catalysts coatings) can be tailored and studied separately. We utilize, for example, size- and shape-selected nanoparticles of metals and metal oxides as well as thin films. We focus on the catalysts systems based on relevant, abundant, inexpensive 3d transition metals such as Co, Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn but also IrOx for acidic OER.
In addition to the comprehensive characterization of the pre- and post-catalytic states using the broad range of methodologies available at the Department of Interface Science, we achieve operando insights on the adaptations of the (bulk) structure, the near-surface chemistry, the ensemble of surface adsorbates as well as the electrolyte state primarily via operando electrochemical (grazing incidence and high-energy) X-ray diffraction, surface-enhanced Raman and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (s. figure above). Therefore, we utilize lab-based experimental setups and conduct experiments at synchrotron facilities. Furthermore, we strongly collaborate with the Research Groups of Liquid Electron Microscopy (S.W. Chee) and Advanced X-ray Spectroscopy (J. Timoshenko) to better understand the (reversible) changes of the nanocatalysts morphology as well as local atomic structure under electrocatalytic conditions.
|Dr. Lichen Baifirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dr. Arno Bergmannemail@example.com|
|Martin Perez Estebanezfirstname.lastname@example.org|