A Combined Electrochemical and Ultra-High Vacuum Approach to Heterogeneous Electrocatalysis

Friday, February 24, 2012 - 11:00am

Matthew A. Rigsby, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Improved energy conversion and storage technologies are crucial for meeting the growing energy demands of the world. Understanding the factors that are currently limiting the advancement of these technologies is vital. One must examine the fundamental properties of electrocatalyst/photoelectrocatalyst materials and the fluid-solid interfaces of which they are a part, and one of the simplest ways to do this is to study model electrocatalyst systems. In the work presented here, studies began with real nanoparticle fuel cell electrocatalysts that demonstrated the key relationship between reactivity and fundamental theoretical understanding. The experimental focus was then shifted to model electrocatalyst systems to try to better understand the effects that were observed with the real electrocatalyst. A new type of electrocatalyst material, ordered intermetallics, was then tested. Finally, current work on well-defined photoelectrocatalyst studies will be presented.

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