Ifan leads the Interfacial Electrochemistry Group at the Department of Materials
Ifan joined Imperial College in July 2017. Prior to Imperial, he was at the Department of Physics at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU); he was first employed as a postdoctoral researcher, then as assistant professor and finally as associate professor and leader of the Electrocatalysis Group there.
In 2015, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) appointed Ifan as the Peabody Visiting Associate Professor. He taught and conducted research at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT for a whole semester.
Ifan’s research aims to enable the large-scale electrochemical conversion of renewable energy to fuels and valuable chemicals and vice versa. Such processes will be critical in order to allow the increased uptake of renewable energy.
His focus is on the catalyst at the electrode, i.e. the electrocatalyst. It turns out that the electrocatalyst material defines the efficiency of several important electrochemical processes, including:
(i) electrolysis for the storage of renewable electricity — which is inherently intermittent — in the form of fuels, such as hydrogen or alcohols.
(ii) fuel cells as a potentially zero emission source of power for automotive vehicles.
(iii) the green synthesis of valuable chemicals, such as H2O2.
(iv) batteries, which tend to degrade by gas evolution at the electrode-electrolyte interface. Hence the reactions that need to be accelerated in electrolysers and fuel cells — such as CO2, CO, O2 and H2 evolution — are precisely those that need to be inhibited in batteries.
Ifan has discovered or co-discovered several new catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction, which exhibited significant improvements in performance over the prior state-of-the-art (see Selected Publications). In particular, his research on hydrogen peroxide production led to the establishment of the spinout company, HP Now www.hpnow.dk.
et al., 2021, Dual-Metal Atom Electrocatalysts: Theory, Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications, Advanced Energy Materials, Vol:12, ISSN:1614-6832
et al., 2021, (Keynote) Why Is Lithium Uniquely Able to Reduce Nitrogen to Ammonia Under Ambient Conditions?, Ecs Meeting Abstracts, Vol:MA2021-02, Pages:1542-1542
et al., 2021, (Invited) Nitrogen Activation by Reduction and Oxidation: A Primer for Rigorous and Reproducible Measurements, Ecs Meeting Abstracts, Vol:MA2021-02, Pages:1552-1552
et al., 2021, Degradation in lithium ion battery current collectors, Jphys Energy, Vol:3, ISSN:2515-7655
et al., 2021, Role of catalyst in controlling N-2 reduction selectivity: a unified view of nitrogenase and solid electrodes, ACS Catalysis, Vol:11, ISSN:2155-5435, Pages:6596-6601
et al., 2021, Operando measurement of layer breathing modes in lithiated graphite, Acs Energy Letters, Vol:6, ISSN:2380-8195, Pages:1633-1638
Rao RR, Stephens IEL, Durrant JR, 2021, Understanding What Controls the Rate of Electrochemical Oxygen Evolution, Joule, Vol:5, ISSN:2542-4351, Pages:16-18
et al., 2020, Towards Active and Stable Bifunctional NiCo<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> Catalysts for O<sub>2</sub> Evolution and Reduction in Alkaline Media, Ecs Meeting Abstracts, Vol:MA2020-02, Pages:3860-3860
et al., 2020, X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Investigation of Platinum-Gadolinium Thin Films with Different Stoichiometry for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction, Catalysts, Vol:10
et al., 2019, Structure-sensitivity and Electrolyte Effects in CO2 Electroreduction: From Model Studies to Applications, Chemcatchem, Vol:11, ISSN:1867-3880, Pages:3624-3643
et al., 2019, Progress and Perspectives of Electrochemical CO2 Reduction on Copper in Aqueous Electrolyte, Chemical Reviews, Vol:119, ISSN:0009-2665, Pages:7610-7672
et al., 2019, Concentrated Electrolytes for Enhanced Stability of Al-Alloy Negative Electrodes in Li-Ion Batteries, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol:166, ISSN:0013-4651, Pages:A1867-A1874
et al., 2019, Structure Sensitivity in the Electrocatalytic Reduction of CO<sub>2</sub> with Gold Catalysts, Angewandte Chemie, Vol:131, ISSN:0044-8249, Pages:3814-3818
et al., 2019, Structure Sensitivity in the Electrocatalytic Reduction of CO2 with Gold Catalysts., Angew Chem Int Ed Engl
et al., 2018, Elucidation of the oxygen reduction volcano in alkaline media using a copper–platinum(111) alloy, Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, Vol:57, ISSN:1433-7851, Pages:2800-2805
et al., 2017, Towards identifying the active sites on RuO2 (110) in catalyzing oxygen evolution, Energy & Environmental Science, Vol:10, ISSN:1754-5692, Pages:2626-2637
Stephens IEL, Rossmeisl J, Chorkendorff I, 2016, Toward sustainable fuel cells, Science, Vol:354, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:1378-1379
et al., 2016, Probing the nanoscale structure of the catalytically active overlayer on Pt alloys with rare earths, Nano Energy, Vol:29, ISSN:2211-2855, Pages:249-260
et al., 2016, Tuning the activity of Pt alloy electrocatalysts by means of the lanthanide contraction, Science, Vol:352, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:73-76
et al., 2015, Toward an active and stable catalyst for oxygen evolution in acidic media: Ti-Stabilized MnO2, Advanced Energy Materials, Vol:5, ISSN:1614-6832
Stephens IEL, Elias JS, Shao-Horn Y, 2015, The importance of being together, Science, Vol:350, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:164-165
et al., 2014, Mass-selected nanoparticles of PtxY as model catalysts for oxygen electroreduction, Nature Chemistry, Vol:6, ISSN:1755-4330, Pages:732-738
et al., 2013, Enabling direct H2O2 production through rational electrocatalyst design, Nature Materials, Vol:12, ISSN:1476-1122, Pages:1137-1143
et al., 2012, Understanding the electrocatalysis of oxygen reduction on platinum and its alloys, Energy & Environmental Science, Vol:5, ISSN:1754-5692, Pages:6744-6762
et al., 2011, Tuning the Activity of Pt(111) for Oxygen Electroreduction by Subsurface Alloying, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol:133, ISSN:0002-7863, Pages:5485-5491
et al., 2009, Alloys of platinum and early transition metals as oxygen reduction electrocatalysts, Nature Chemistry, Vol:1, ISSN:1755-4330, Pages:552-556