Chemistry and IMSE co-sponsored seminar with Dr. Veronica Augustyn of North Carolina State University at 1:00pm
Technological interest in electrode materials with long-term stability and reactivity in aqueous electrolytes is motivated by the urgent need for large scale, safe, and low-cost electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Transition metal oxides are an important class of redox-active electrode materials for aqueous electrochemical technologies including batteries, fuel cells, and electrolyzers. From a fundamental perspective, the electrochemistry of metal oxides in aqueous electrolytes across the entire pH scale inevitably involves protons. These can interact with transition metal oxides via numerous reactions including water electrolysis, surface adsorption and bulk insertion, and dissolution. These reactions are sensitive to the pH (especially the interfacial pH), and can involve proton donors beyond H3O+, leading to important opportunities to tune metal oxide reactivity via aqueous electrolyte tuning such as buffers. In this seminar, I will discuss our work on understanding the electrochemical behavior of metal oxides in aqueous electrolytes for energy storage and conversion. This will include understanding proton insertion mechanisms, the interplay of proton insertion with the hydrogen evolution reaction, and the role of acid electrolyte composition on the speciation of proton-coupled electrochemical reactions. The metal oxides that I will discuss include hydrous tungsten oxides, metastable hydrogen titanates, and layered MnO2.