Our interest lies in the interplay between electrochemical experiments, first principles calculations and advanced characterisation methods in the search for new catalyst materials. We test metals, sulfides, oxides and carbon-based surfaces; these electrodes take the form of nanoparticles, thin films, bulk polycrystalline surfaces and single crystals.
Reactions under investigation include:
1. Oxygen evolution for the storage of renewable energy in the form of solar fuels.
2. CO2 reduction to convert waste greenhouse emissions into sustainable fuels.
3. Oxygen reduction to enable low temperature fuel cells.
4. Electrochemical N2 reduction as a sustainable means of producing NH3 (see figure).
5. Methane oxidation to methanol, to avoid flaring.
Schematic illustration of an electrolyser that can reduce N2 to NH3 under ambient conditions. The inset shows the electrocatalyst nanoparticle. Illustration by Cristofaro Salvato.