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Colloquium Series: Dr. Eranda Nikolla, Wayne State University
Tuesday, February 1 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Join us on Zoom for our Colloquium Series. Eranda Nikolla from Wayne State University will be joining us to present “Engineering Nonstoichiometric Mixed Metal Oxide Electrocatalysts for Energy Conversion and Storage.”
Eranda Nikolla is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Wayne State University. Her research interests lie in the development of heterogeneous catalysts and electrocatalysts for chemical conversion processes and electrochemical systems (i.e., fuel cells, electrolyzers) using a combination of experimental and theoretical techniques. Dr. Nikolla received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Michigan in 2009 working with Prof. Suljo Linic and Prof. Johannes Schwank in the area of solid-state electrocatalysis. She conducted a two-year postdoctoral work at California Institute of Technology with Prof. Mark E. Davis prior to joining Wayne State University. At Caltech, she developed expertise in synthesis and characterization of meso/microporous materials and functionalized surfaces. Her group’s impact to catalytic science has been recognized through the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Department of Energy Early Career Research Award, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the Young Scientist Award from the International Congress on Catalysis, the 2019 ACS Women Chemists Committee (WCC) Rising Star Award, and the 2021 The Michigan Catalysis Society Parravano Award for Excellence in Catalysis Research and Development.
Research Synopsis: Shaping the energy landscape toward renewable energy resources is a contemporary challenge that will require significant advancements in the development of electrocatalysts for energy conversion and storage. The goal of our research group is to design active, selective and stable heterogeneous electrocatalysts for energy conversion and storage. We have specifically focused on utilizing the versatile structure of non-stoichiometric mixed metal oxides as a potential avenue for addressing limitations with the current state-of-the-art electrocatalytic systems.
In this presentation, I will discuss our work on designing non-stoichiometric mixed metal oxide electrocatalysts for electrochemical oxygen reduction and evolution reactions (ORR and OER, respectively). These processes play an important role in electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies, such as fuel cells, electrolyzers and Li-air batteries. A combination of density functional theory calculations, controlled synthesis, characterization and electrochemical studies are used to identify the factors that govern the activity of non-stoichiometric mixed metal oxide for oxygen electrocatalysis. We show that these oxides are effective frameworks for generating highly active 4d/5d transition metal cationic sites for electrochemical oxygen reduction in alkaline environment. Tailoring the oxide composition (by variations in the A site and the 3d transition metal B site) was demonstrated to switch catalytically poor Rh cations in traditional supported catalysts to highly catalytic Rh cationic centers dispersed within a perovskite framework (LaNi1-xRhxO3, x≤0.01). I will also discuss the use of non-stochiometric mixed metal oxides as platforms for generating in situ catalytically active surfaces for OER. The close interface with the parent oxide was shown to stabilize the in situ generated catalytic active surfaces under electrochemical conditions making it both active and stable under electrochemical conditions.
To register, please contact Melissa Gammon at mkgammon@email.UNC.edu.