Operando Electrochemistry

real-time electrochemistry: seeing is believing

The electrochemical interface is where the electron transfer between electrode/electrocatalyst/electrolyte happens. Understanding the interface reveals the structure-property relationship of electrocatalysts. In situ techniques are useful to study the interface. Our lab focuses on the following techniques: in situ UV-Vis and Raman spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, and X-ray diffraction.

  • In situ atomic force microscopy coupled electrochemistry (EC-AFM) for morphologic and structural detection during electrocatalysis

  • In situ mass spectroscopy for product detection during electrocatalysis

  • W. Zheng, Chemistry Methods, 2022, e202200042 link

  • W. Zheng, et al., ACS Energy Letters, 2021, 6, 2838–2843 link

  • W. Zheng, et al., ACS Catalysis, 2020, 20, 81–92 link

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Electrocatalyst Design and Active Site Modulation

develop better catalyst: faster, higher, stronger

Electrocatalysts are materials that can promote electrochemical conversion at a fixed potential. The materials must have suitable surface atomic configuration and adsorption energy for best efficiency. The best way of achieving this is the rational design of active sites. We study the following reactions: carbon dioxide electrochemical adsorption and reduction, electrochemical organic synthesis, and water splitting reaction (or water electrolysis).

  • Electrochemical synthesis of inorganic materials

  • Single atom catalysts for water splitting reaction, CO2 reduction reaction, biomass conversion

  • W. Zheng, Analysis & Sensing, 2022, e202200070 link

  • W. Zheng, et al., Small, 2021, 17, 2007768 link

  • W. Zheng, et al., Nanoscale, 2021, 13, 15177–15187 link

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.
— Richard P. Feynman (1974, Caltech)

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