Prof. Alexander Auer, who recently joined the Neese Department as group leader, organized for March 12 the workshop “Challenges in Energy Research: Designing Catalyst Materials for Energy Conversion Processes” at our Institute. Guests from several German instututions like the FHI in Berlin, the MPIE in Düsseldorf, the MPI für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim and the Ruhr University in Bochum were invited to discuss recent advances in energy research.
In the first session J. Meier (MPIE) reported on his investigations on catalyst degradation using identical location TEM to identify degradation mechanisms on carbon supported Pt catalysts for PEM fuel cells. This talk was followed by a contribution from C. Galeano (MPI Kofo) on the
The contributions by U. Biedermann (MPIE) and W. Schneider (MPI BAC) in the second session focussed on quantum chemical studies of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR): U. Biedermann presented recent results of ATR-IR investigations of ORR intermediates by A. Erbe (MPIE) and simulations of possible reaction mechanisms as well as spectroscopic properties of species on Germanium surfaces; W. Schneider presented simulations of the ORR on Pt nanoparticles, the stability of Co/Pt core-shell particles and nanoparticle-support interactions.
I. Katsounaros (MPIE) was the first speaker in the first afternoon session with a contribution on the role of hydrogen peroxide as an intermediate in the ORR. Here, recent results indicate that the mechanism of the ORR is to a large extend determined by the surface state of the system. Intermediate oxygen containing species that are formed on a Pt surface were also the focus of the presentation by R. Arrigo (FHI) who presented results obtained from in-situ ambient-XPS measurements carried out at BESSY. The session was concluded by a contribution from A. Topalov (MPIE) who gave insights into the Pt dissolution reaction that were obtained using a combination of the scanning flow cell (SFC) and ICP-MS.
The final session was opened by C. Ranjan with a contribution on the oxygen evolution reaction on Pt catalysts and the investigation of oxide species that are formed on Pt systems at higher potentials. A. Schuppert (MPIE) discussed the experimental challenges in designing the SFC coupled to the ICP-MS and showed that the MPIE has a setup for high throughput electrochemical investigations on varying surfaces, high sensitivity and reproduciblility. The workshop was concluded by a talk from J. Tornow (FHI) on research activities on Li-ion battery systems in which he also pointed out several challenges for theory to aid experimental work.
The atmosphere at the workshop was very constructive and all talks were followed by lively discussions on details and perspectives. Apart from more than 20 participants several interested scientists from the MPI BAC and the Kofo joined the sessions to listen and discuss. The question of Pt as a future material for usage in commercial applications and the challenges of identifying intermediates and mechanism of surface reactions were discussed as well as possible next steps in joined research projects.
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