Laboratory for Molecular Nanoscience
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Title: Local and Interfacial Magnetic Fields in Electrocatalysis.
Abstract: A sustainable future requires highly efficient energy conversion processes, where electrocatalysis plays a crucial role. Here, I will present a few unconventional strategies to reach significant boosts in the electrocatalytic activity of Earth-abundant materials using either interfacial or local magnetic fields:
-At the interfacial level magnetic fields affect the mass transfer of charged reactants (to) and products (from) the electrolyte. This effect is universal and independent of the magnetic properties of the surface. I will demonstrate this phenomenon using Pt and transition metal oxides as catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).
-At the local level we use chiral molecules to induce spin selective pathways on the surface of the catalysts. As a case study, I will show the use of functionalized helicenes to boost the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) by ca. 131.5 % (at the potential of 1.65 V vs. RHE) at state-of-the-art 2D catalysts via a spin-polarization mechanism.
By decoupling the effects involved in global (interfacial) vs local magnetic enhancement we provide a versatile strategy that can be easily implemented to boost electrocatalytic reactions on different materials.