Strain and support effects for enhanced electrocatalytic performance
The renewable energy resources have got a huge attention in lieu of fossil fuel-based energy resources due to the rise in environmental pollution along with a concomitant increase in global energy demand. The most challenging issue lies on the intermittent nature of these renewable resources. One of the important alternatives of these is use of fuel cells which uses chemical energy of a fuel and cleanly produces electricity without combustion. Electrocatalysis, used as the electrode material, accelerates the rate of an electrochemical reaction under a given electrical potential. The main aim in the development of an electrocatalyst is that the material designed should have better catalytic activities at a fairly cheaper cost. In a bi/multi-metallic system, with distinct lattice constants, a synergistic interaction modifies the electronic features such as position of d-band center and shift in core level with respect to the Fermi level and tunes the catalytic properties to be better than that of the individual metal analogues. The geometric (strain) and support effects in nanomaterials were studied for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction. In this seminar, I will present the following research investigations:
The effect of surface strain in the carbon supported Pt3Co dealloyed catalyst towards HER has been studied. Dealloying process was adopted to generate the geometric strain in Pt3Co/C alloy by preferential dissolution of non-noble metal (Co) from the alloy and the improved activity in Pt3Co/C dealloy was due to the compressive strain generated in it.
The electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to recycle CO2 into CO (an important raw material of syn gas for the synthesis of industrially valuable products via Fischer–Tropsch process) was studied. Au NPs supported on RGO have been studied for CO2 reduction. The presence of defect sites on RGO in RGOAu, the influence of reducing agent (NaBH4) and the optimum concentration of Au on RGO support were studied for carbon dioxide reduction.