Electrocatalysis with intermetallic compounds

The attractive and diverse physical and chemical properties of intermetallic compounds (IMCs) as a result of their inherent crystal structures and well-defined chemical bonding offer an immense prospect for their use in different fields. However, their extensive application is limited due to the gap still existing between fundamental understanding and chemical behaviour and performance of IMCs in the real systems (catalytic reactor, thermoelectric module, etc.). Aiming to fill this gap, the heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis provide a plenty of different (electro)chemical processes for extensive study of chemical properties of IMCs. At the same time, the catalysis will also benefit from exploration of the range of active and stable catalysts, further insight into the nature of active species and reaction mechanisms, leading to the growing development of new and improvement /optimization of already known (electro)catalysts.

Within the proposed project, the long-standing expertise of the department of Chemical Metal Science in synthesis of IMCs and their comprehensive characterization using bulk- and partially surface-sensitive techniques will be combined with the assessment of their electrocatalytic activity for different types of electrocatalytic processes. The information about the crystal structure and chemical bonding, advanced insight into microstructure features and chemical state of the surface will be used for deep understanding of chemical behaviour under reaction conditions and extensive interpretation of their electrocatalytic activity and stability (Figure).

Figure: Cage-like crystal structure of Hf2B2Ir5 and atomic arrangement on the (010) preferable surface (left) and long-term performance of this material in oxygen evolution reaction (right).

References

A.M. Barrios Jiménez, U. Burkhardt, R. Cardoso-Gil, K. Höfer, S.G. Altendorf, R. Schlögl, Yu. Grin, I. Antonyshyn
Hf2B2Ir5: A Self-Optimizing Catalyst for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction
ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 3, 11, 11042–11052 (2020)

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