The Search for Electrocatalysts


I’ve now been researching here for a month, and it’s been a lot of fun!  I’ve had a few successes, and confirmed that some complexes do not work for the Oxygen reduction reactions.  A day of my research is usually composed of a test of a promising electrocatalyst, followed by looking through published papers to see if those can offer any insight into the mechanisms or new catalysts to test.

The most exciting days are the ones where I synthesize new complexes to test!  I’ve had six such days so far, and all of the new complexes are active (to the best of my knowledge).   I’ve been testing the same or very similar sets of ligands to try to determine patterns among the active catalysts.



  1. saostrom says:

    It sounds like your days are busy and that you’re making a lot of progress! I had never heard of research like this until reading your abstract and this update (I’m a physics major, so I haven’t read through many chemistry topics in depth). I’m curious about a few things that you mentioned. Firstly, what sort of information from the published papers that you are reading through indicates that a complex might be a viable testing option? If you’ve been able to test six of them, and found them all to be active, are you able to look at the overall similarities between each one to make a more broad statement about which qualities suggest that a complex would work better for the oxygen reduction reactions (or is that part of your final analysis that you’re planning to do later)?

    I’m looking forward to reading more about what you accomplish this summer!

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