This project will involve the development of novel electrocatalysts based on ultra-thin metal oxide nanomembranes that will be used in fuel cells and electrolyzers. These technologies are very important for a clean energy future because electrolyzers can use electricity generated by renewable solar or wind resources to produce chemical fuels such as hydrogen. This project will be experimental in nature, focusing on the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of thin film and nanoparticle electrocatalysts. The goal of the project is to develop new membrane coated electrocatalysts (MCECs) that are durable over long periods of operation, resistant to poisoning effects, and enable new catalytic pathways for complex reactions. A particular focus will be on characterizing the properties of ultrathin overlayers through a combination of experimental and modeling efforts. Electroanalytical techniques and in situ spectroscopy tools will be employed to evaluate electrocatalyst performance and elucidate transport and reaction mechanisms in these novel materials. The student will systematically explore the effect of synthesis conditions and operating conditions on the electrocatalytic performance of the electrodes. This project will require basic knowledge in electrochemistry and chemical engineering principles.
Name of Lab: Solar Fuels Engineering Lab
Direct Supervisor: William Stinson
Hours per week: 40 hr/week
Position type: On Site
Qualifications: Chemical engineering / solar fuels / electrochemistry
SEAS students only: Yes