Brown University School of Engineering

Lecture by Dr. Jin Suntivich from Cornell University

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Monday, November 18, 2013 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Jin Suntivich is an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University. He received his bachelor degrees from Northwestern University, where he did research in carbon nanotube chemistries under the supervision of Professor Mark Hersam and Dr. Michael Arnold (now at the University of Wisconsin at Madison). Jin then went on to obtain his doctoral degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his degree examined oxygen electrocatalysis on transition metal oxide materials with Professor Yang Shao-Horn and Professor Hubert Gasteiger (now at the Technical University of Munich). In the year 2012-2013, Jin was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment, where he studied ultrafast spectroscopy and photochemistry of titanium dioxide surfaces to examine the relationship between excited state’s lifetime and photocatalytic activity with Professor Eric Mazur and Professor Cynthia Friend. In August 2013, he began his professorship at Cornell, where his current research focuses on examining oxygen electrocatalysis mechanism and novel oxide photonic materials. Designing Transition Metal Oxides for Oxygen Reduction and Evolution Electrocatalysis A critical element for clean, sustainable energy implementation is the discovery of efficient and cost—effective catalysts for electrochemical energy conversion and storage reactions such as oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution. Developing a fundamental catalyst “design” principle” that links material structure and chemistry to the catalytic activity can accelerate the search for highly active catalyst that is cost effective and abundant in nature. While such advance design concept exists for Pt—based electrocatalyst, little is known about the design principle for non—Pt materials. We have examined a series of model perovskite transition metal oxide compounds to investigate and develop fundamental catalyst design principle on this class of non—Pt-based material. We found that the eg symmetry-parentage electron in the d-states and the extent of p-d hybridization between metal and oxygen can describe nearly ~4 orders of magnitude in the oxygen reduction and the oxygen evolution activities of the perovskite transition metal oxide catalysts. The correlation between the molecular orbital picture and the oxygen electrocatalysis on the perovskite catalysts enables us to postulate the reaction mechanisms and the rate-limiting steps, and design a novel oxide oxygen electrocatalyst.