Interplay between electronic structure and catalytic activity in transition metal oxide model system
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.
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The efficiency of many energy storage and conversion technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cells, rechargeable metal-air batteries, and hydrogen production from water splitting, is limited by the slow kinetics of the oxygen electrochemical reactions. Transition-metal oxides can exhibit high catalytic activity for oxygen electrochemical reactions, which can be used to improve efficiency and cost of these devices. Identifying a catalyst "design principle" that links material properties to the catalytic activity can accelerate the development of highly active, abundant transition metal oxide catalysts fore more efficient, cost-effective energy storage and conversion system. In this thesis, we demonstrate that the oxygen electrocatalytic activity for perovskite transition metal oxide catalysts primarily correlates to the a* orbital ("eg") occupation. We further find that the extent of B-site transition metal-oxygen covalency can serve as a secondary activity descriptor. We hypothesize that this correlation reflects the critical influences of the a* orbital and transition metal-oxygen covalency on the ability of the surface to displace and stabilize oxygen-species on surface transition metals. We further propose that this ability to stabilize oxygen-species reflect as the rate-limiting steps of the oxygen electrochemical reactions on the perovskite oxide surfaces, and thus highlight the importance of electronic structure in controlling the oxide catalytic activity.
Thesis (Sc. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 109-125).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.