Synthesis of shaped-controlled nanoparticles for energy-storage applications

Developing a global-scale renewable energy that can fulfil the demand of billions of people without damaging the ecosystem is very crucial for securing our future energy.  In general, water-splitting and fuel cell are the most promising technologies to convert the renewable energy source into chemical forms and then transfer it back to energy when it needs. Unfortunately, the large commercialisation of these technologies is still hindered by the high loading expensive noble metals. Therefore, the main goal is to develop active and stable catalyst in nano-scale to reduce noble metal loading.

Our strategy is to develop synthetic methods to control the size, shape and composition of nanocrystals, characterise them with advanced high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) and then evaluate their electrocatalytic performance (such as ORR, OER and CO2 reduction). We are exploring a wide variety metals such as Pt, Pd, Ru, Au, Ni and Co as well as its combinations and then systematically study the relation between catalytic performance and crystallography surface. We focus on fundamental understanding to design active and stable nanocatalysts to promote large commercialisation for water-splitting and fuel cell applications. 

Electron microscopy

Figure 1: Diagram of the synthesis, characterisation and energy electrocatalysis application process for nanoparticles in our research group.