In the last decades, significant progress has been made on understanding and controlling solid/liquid electrochemical interfaces at atomic levels. As the principles guiding the activity of electrochemical reactions are quite well established (structure-activity relationships), the fundamentals of stability are still poorly understood (structure-stability relationships). 123STABLE proposes to employ (1) identical location, (2) online monitoring and (3) modeling of noble metals based nanoparticles changes with the state-of-the-art electron microscopy equipment and online dissolution and evolution analytics using electrochemical flow cell coupled to online mass spectrometers. Projects unique methodology approach with picogram sensitivity levels, in combination with sub-atomic scale microscopy insights and simulations, promises novel atomistic insights into the corrosion and reconstruction of noble metals in electrochemical environments. This unique approach is based on observations of the same nanoparticles before and after electrochemical treatment where weak and stable atomic features and events can be recognized, followed, understood and finally utilized. Upon (1) doping, (2) decoration and/or (3) other synthetic modification of nanoparticles like a change in size and shape further stabilization is envisioned. For instance, blockage of nanoparticle vulnerable defected sites like steps or kinks by more noble metal could stop or significantly slow down their degradation.
The 123STABLE project will feature platinum- and iridium-based nanostructures as a model system to introduce a unique “123” approach, as they still possess the best electrocatalytic properties for the future electrification of society through the Hydrogen economy. However, their electrochemical stability is still not sufficient. Coupled with the fact that their supply is hindered by extremely scarce, rare and uneven geological distribution, the increase in their stability is of immense importance.
Fields of science
Funding SchemeERC-STG - Starting Grant