Increasing the Activity of Catalysts
A key to producing green hydrogen more efficiently
Researchers from Jülich, Aachen, Stanford, and Berkeley have studied the layered structure of a catalyst material (individual layers shown on the left; full crystal structure shown on the right) and found that an atomically thin surface layer can double the activity for the water splitting reaction.
Numerous research teams around the world are working on optimizing hydrogen electrolysis in order to produce the coveted fuel as cost-effectively as possible and, above all, in a climate-neutral manner. A team of scientists from Jülich, Aachen and Berkeley has now discovered that an extremely thin layer of a catalyst material can double the activity for the water splitting reaction. Among others, the institute of JARA-FIT member Prof. Rainer Waser was significantly involved in the investigations.
A layer as thin as a single atom makes a huge difference: On the surface of an electrode, it doubles the amount of water split in an electrolysis system without increasing the energy requirements. Thus, the ultrathin layer also doubles the amount of hydrogen produced without increasing costs. Researchers from Jülich, Aachen, Stanford, and Berkeley report on this in the latest edition of the journal Nature Materials.
Further information is available on the website of Forschungszentrum Jülich: https://www.fz-juelich.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/UK/EN/2021/2021-01-11-increasing-the-activity-of-catalysts.html
Original publication in the journal Nature Materials: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-020-00877-1