Nano Catalysis – University of Copenhagen

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Nano Catalysis

Our research group is an international team devoted to the development of efficient and affordable electrocatalysts for sustainable energy conversion. Through basic research we develop efficient and affordable hydrogen generation (electrolysis), and hydrogen conversion (fuel cells) systems. For the implementation of these technologies, the amount of the expensive Pt-based catalyst must be reduced and at the same time its durability increased.

Our research topics include

  • synthesis and investigation of well-defined nanoclusters for energy conversion
  • synthesis and investigation the activity and degradation mechanisms of carbon supported and unsupported electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cells
  • novel concepts for cheaper and more durable catalysts
  • influence of spectator-species in electrocatalysis
  • develop improved electrochemical setups (soft- and hardware solutions) and procedures for catalyst testing.

In our research group we have several automated electrochemical test stands with RDEs and a multi-electrode setup. Our knowledge in this area led to the spin-out company Nordic Electrochemistry. We have one in-situ FTIR setup and one differential electrochemical mass spectrometry setup. Last but not least, we have equipment for catalyst synthesis. We frequently use TEM, SEM, and XRD at the Nano-Science Center.

At UCPH we work together with Assoc. Prof. J. Kirkensgaard concerning small X-ray scattering (SAXS), the research group of Assoc. Prof. T. Vosch concerning Raman Spectroscopy, and the research group of Prof. J. Rossmeisl concerning DFT calculations. International collaborations include Prof. M. Baeumer and Dr. S. Kunz (Uni Bremen), Prof. U. Heiz (TU-Munich), and Dr. K. Mayrhofer (MPIE) Furthermore, we collaborate with different groups within the 4M Center for Interdisciplinary Fundamental research to promote commercialization of HT-PEMFCs and the European DECORE consortium. We are member of the Danish Electrochemical Society, the Danish Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, as well as the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Academy (HyFc). 

Recent highlights of our research include the joint study with the groups of Tom Vosch and Sebastian Kunz concerning the influence of light on the particle formation in a colloidal synthesis of Pt Nanoparticles. The basic finding was that in a standard polyol synthesis performed at room temperature, the exposure to light is crucial for the particle formation process. This lead to the idea to use UV light to actively influence particle formation, an exciting new synthesis strategy for unprotected nanoparticles, which is currently under investigation.