Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Research Interests: The Abruña group performs cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research on a wide variety of electrochemical phenomena with current emphasis on fuel cells, batteries and supercapacitors. We employ a wide range of electrochemical techniques as well as x-ray based methods, differential electrochemical mass spectrometry, in-situ FT-IR, confocal Raman, scanning electrochemical microscopy, in-situ TEM, and spectroscopic techniques to address problems of electrochemical interest. We synthesize novel electrocatalysts for fuel cells and carry out computational design and synthesis of high performance organic-based electrical energy storage materials.
Current work involves:
1. Fuel cells:
• The use of ordered intermetallics, for the electrocatalytic oxidation of formic acid and other small organic molecules of potential utility as fuels in fuel cells.
• The use of core/shell electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR)
• Development of novel catalyst support materials for fuel cells
• Use of Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry (DEMS), in-situ FT-IR in for mechanistic studies related to fuel cells.
• Development of in-situ TEM techniques for the study of fuel cell and battery materials
2. Electrical Energy Storage (EES): Batteries and Supercapacitors
• Lithium/sulfur batteries
• Computational screening synthesis and characterization of organic molecules for EES
• In-situ testing of battery systems using in-situ x-ray based technique (XRD, EXAFS, XANES)