Material Innovation and Synthesis
The increase in technology worldwide has required accelerated advancement in developing energy systems. Different catalysts are being developed to enhance the performance of energy systems. As a result of the inadequate activity of some catalysts, current energy-producing systems must be made more efficient. Energy conversion and storage are significantly aided by nanoparticles, which these materials are more reactive due to their small nature of them, and they have a higher surface-to-volume ratio. Nanodroplet-mediated electrodeposition is a method used to resolve some of the common issues during classical bulk electrodeposition such as nanoparticle diffusion layer overlap, and the inability to electrodeposit multi-metallic nanoparticles with stoichiometric precision. This method involves filling water nanodroplets with metal salt precursors that, when they collide with a biased electrode, stable nanoparticles can be obtained. The technique has shown control over the size and morphology of nanoparticles, demonstrating a wide range of applications for the creation of materials. Our group focuses on using this method to synthesize a variety of materials and to study fundamentally these systems.
Platinum particles electrodeposited using nanodroplet-mediated electrodeposition.
While gold nanoparticles are frequently used, nanorings offer an interesting new geometry. Unfortunately, few technologies exist to fabricate nanorings, which are often created by multi-step lithographic methods. Furthermore, nanoring arrays are even more difficult to achieve. The nanorings can be deposited at the edges of the emulsion droplets that become adsorbed to the electrode. Changing the concentrations of species, time of submersion, and electrodeposition parameters allows us to tune relevant parameters of the array of nanorings, including the thickness and size of the rings.