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Developing Electrode Catalyst Materials for Decarbonization
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and water electrolysis (PEMWE) are two key technologies for the realization of hydrogen economy. Despite being the type of electrochemical conversion device with the highest power density, PEM-based technologies suffer from high materials cost due to the necessity of using expensive precious group metals (PGMs) as electrode catalysts to overcome activation voltage losses. To make PEMFC and PEMWE more economically viable, low PGM loaded electrodes were achieved through enhancing the intrinsic activity of PGM-based catalysts. We have developed molybdenum (Mo) promoted intermetallic platinum-cobalt (Pt-Co) oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and tungsten oxide nanowire supported iridium (Ir@WOxNW) oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts. The developed ORR and OER catalysts showed compelling performance over commercially available benchmark catalysts, even under membrane electrode assembly (MEA) testing conditions. Synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were implemented to study the important electronic properties of the aforementioned catalysts. Critical information was obtained to accurately describe the materials structure as well as its corresponding oxygen-bonding property, which serves as a key descriptor for ORR and OER activities.
keywords：Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell, Water Electrolysis, Intermtallic, Oxygen Reduction Reaction, Oxygen Evolution Reaction, Group VI Elements
Yung-Tin (Frank) Pan is an assistant professor of the Chemical Engineering Department, National Tsing Hua University. He received his PhD. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA. Before joining NTHU Chemical Engineering, he worked as a postdoc researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
His research interest stems from catalytic materials to reaction systems. Specifically, his thesis works focused on the structural behaviors of bimetallic nanocrystals under reactive environments and its implications to catalyst preparation and structure-property relations utilizing advanced characterization technologies such as in-situ environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM). Due to his expertise in multi-metallic systems, Yung-Tin was recruited by the Fuel Cell Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory to carry out researches on Pt-M L10 intermetallic nanocatalyst and its responses under practical fuel cell working conditions when fabricated into a membrane electrode assembly (MEA). His work demonstrated an active and durable catalyst that meets the US Department of Energy (US-DOE) 2020 targets through designed crystal engineering.
His current research interest lies in the development of active and durable catalyst materials for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) reaction systems such as fuel cell (PEMFC), water electrolysis (PEMWE), and other gas phase electrochemical reactions such as CO2RR. He published works covers topics ranging from active and durable catalyst development, electrode structure design and fabrication, manifestation of strong catalyst-support interactions, and even membrane modifications. Furthermore, his group also works on heterogeneous catalytic systems and chemical looping beyond combustion aiming to develop green and sustainable carbon capture and utilization processes for the chemical industry.