Conference Programme

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E-03: Electrocatalyst I
Tuesday, 20/Jun/2017:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Jong Hyeok Park, Yonsei University
Session Chair: Zhiyong Tang, National Center of Nanoscience and Technology
Location: Nicoll 1

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10:30am - 11:00am

Electrocatalysis for Energy Conversion

Shizhang QIAO

University of Adelaide, Australia

Replacement of precious metal catalysts by commercially available alternatives is of great importance among both fundamental and practical catalysis research. Nanostructured graphene-based and transition metal materials have demonstrated promising catalytic properties in a wide range of energy generation/storage applications. Specifically engineering graphene with guest metals/metal-free atoms can improve its catalytic activity for electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), thus can be considered as potential substitutes for the expensive Pt/C or IrO2 catalysts in fuel cells, metal-air batteries and water splitting process. In this presentation, we will talk about the synthesis of nonprecious metal and metal free elements-doped graphene, and their application on electrocatalysis [1-4]. The excellent ORR, OER and HER performance (high catalytic activity and efficiency) and reliable stability (much better than the commercial Pt/C or IrO2) indicate that new materials are promising highly efficient electrocatalysts for clean energy conversion.


[1] Y. Jiao, S.Z. Qiao et al., Nature Energy 1 (2016) 16130.

[2] T. Ling, S.Z. Qiao et al., Nature Communications 7 (2016) 12876.

[3] Y. Jiao Y, S.Z. Qiao et al., Journal of the American Chemical Society 138 (2016) 16174.

[4] Y.P. Zhu, S.Z. Qiao et al., Angew Chem Int Ed. 56 (2017) 1324.

11:00am - 11:30am

MOF and MOF Derived Photo/electrocatalysts for Energy Applications

Tianhua ZHOU1, You XU1, Jianyu HAN1, Rong XU1,2

1Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; 2Cambridge Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology (C4T), Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE), National Research Foundation, Singapore

The research in my group focuses on the development of particulate semiconductors, molecular complexes and hybrid systems for conversion of solar energy to chemical energy via photocatalytic and electrocatalytic water splitting for hydrogen and oxygen evolution. In particular, we embed active moieties in solid frameworks to bridge the knowledge gap between the efficient catalysis and the local structure of the active sites in solid catalysts. Through a combination of characterization techniques such as X-ray absorption, X-ray photoelectron and Raman spectroscopies, single-crystal X-ray diffraction, etc., we unravel the origin of the active sites in lowering the activation energy of these reactions. It is expected that such fundamental knowledge will then facilitate the design of more advanced catalysts on a scientific basis. In this talk, a few recent examples from our work will be discussed.[1-5]


[1] Xu, Y., Tu, W. G., Zhang, B. W., Yin, S. M., Huang, Y. Z., Kraft, M. Xu, R., Adv. Mater., in press, 2017.

[2] Zhou, T. H., Du, Y. H., Yin, S. M., Tian, X. Z., Yang, H. B., Wang, X., Liu, B., Zheng, H. M., Qiao, S. Z., Xu, R., Energy Environ. Sci., 9, 2563-2570, 2016.

[3] Han, J. Y., Wang, D. P., Du, Y. H., Xi, S. B., Hong, J. D., Yin, S. M., Chen, Z., Zhou, T. H., Xu, R., J. Mater. Chem. A, 3, 20607 – 20613, 2015.

[4] Zhou, T. H., Wang, D. P., Goh, S. C. K., Hong, J. D., Han, J. Y., Mao, J. G., Xu, R., Energy Environ. Sci., 8, 526-534, 2015.

[5] Zhou, T. H., Du, Y. H., Borgna, A, Hong, J. D., Wang, Y. B., Han, J. Y., Zhang, W., Xu, R., Energy Environ. Sci, 6, 3229 - 3234, 2013.

11:30am - 11:45am

Porous Metal Nitrides Synthesized Via RF Plasma and Their Application in Electrochemical Water Splitting

Yongqi ZHANG, Hongjin FAN

School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Catalytic electrochemical water splitting to generate oxygen and hydrogen gas could provide a promising method to store intermittent renewable energies such as wind and solar energy, and thus to eliminate the energy and environmental problems caused by burning fossil fuels. However, sluggish reactions extremely hinder the efficiency of water splitting. Developing highly active and cost-effective electrocatalysts for water splitting is critical to promote these sluggish reactions. Metal nitrides show unusual electron transport, optical and magnetic properties as compared to their metal counterparts and have the potential applications to promote the water splitting process. In most previous reports, metal nitrides are prepared by annealing precursors under caustic and hazardous ammonia (NH3) flow. Even worse, it requires long processing duration (several hours) and high reaction temperature (600~800 oC). Here we employed a novel and environmental friendly method to synthesize metal nitrides via treating corresponding metal with N2 plasma and studied their superior electrochemical performances for HER. i) We take the N2 as Nitrogen source, which is abundant and environmental friendly. ii) Metal and metal oxides are able to transfer into metal nitrides at a short duration (few min) and low temperature (25~450 oC). iii) The overall water splitting cell assembled by obtained metal nitrides shows a low potential of 1.6 V to reach 10 mA cm-2 (h10) and excellent cycling stability. iv) Our research offers a new method to synthesize metal nitrides for various applications, such as catalysts, supercapacitors and batteries.

11:45am - 12:00pm

Submonolayered Ru Deposited on Ultrathin Pd Nanosheets Used for Enhanced Catalytic Applications

Zhicheng ZHANG, Hua ZHANG

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Structural modulation of noble metal nanostructures at the atomic scale can greatly alter their catalytic properties[1,2]. For instance, decorating the surface of single-crystal metal substrates with other single- or few-layer metal atoms may induce the lattice strain, which plays a decisive role in determining the surface reactivity. In view of the unique properties of ultrathin nanosheets (NSS) and atomic layer of metals, it is highly desirable to develop a facile, versatile, and robust method to prepare ultrathin bimetallic core-shell NSs. However, the complete coverage of one atomically layered shell may block the catalytically active sites of the core. In contrast, the exposure of different metal atoms in bimetallic core-shell nanostructures is an effective strategy to enhance their catalytic activities. In this presentation, we report a simple wet-chemical approach to synthesize the ultrathin Pd NSs decorated with submonolayered Ru, referred to as Pd@Ru NSs, by a seed-mediated growth method. The underpotential deposition process is responsible for the formation of Pd@Ru NSs. The as-synthesized novel bimetallic Pd@Ru NSs exhibit excellent catalytic properties toward the reduction of 4-nitrophenol and the semihydrogenation of 1-octyne as compared to the pure Pd NSs and Ru NSs[3].


[1] X. Huang, Z. Zeng, H. Zhang*, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013, 42, 1934.

[2] X. Huang, S. Li, Y. Huang, S. Wu, X. Zhou, S. Li, C. L. Gan, F. Boey, C. A. Mirkin, H. Zhang*, Nat. Commun. 2011, 2, 292.

[3] Z. Zhang, Y. Liu, B. Chen, Y. Gong, L. Gu, Z. Fan, N. Yang, Z. Lai, Y. Chen, J. Wang, Y. Huang, M. Sindoro, W. Niu, B. Li, Y. Zong, Y. Yang, X. Huang, F. Huo, W. Huang, H. Zhang*, Adv. Mater. 2016, 28, 10282.

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