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Investigation of plasmon enhanced ethanol electro-oxidation by AuRh catalyst: in situ and theoretical studies

Grant number: 19/22505-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): January 13, 2020
Effective date (End): January 12, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Susana Inés Córdoba de Torresi
Grantee:Maria Paula de Souza Rodrigues
Supervisor abroad: Katharina Krischer
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Technische Universität München, Garching (TUM), Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:18/16846-0 - Metal oxide nanowires decorated with gold nanoparticles for heterogeneous catalysis application, BP.DD


Ethanol is a promising renewable fuel, as it is non-toxic, biomass derived, of easy transportation and storage, carbon neutral, and has a high energy density if completely oxidized to CO2. Aiming at the synthesis of a highly active and selective catalyst for ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR), several approaches have been explored. Among them, rational design and plasmonic properties play a key role in the development of new catalyst with unique properties. Hence, in this research project, we aim to evaluate the ethanol oxidation catalytic performance of a promising plasmonic catalyst comprised of rational designed bimetallic nanoparticles, which have gold in the nucleus and a dendritic rhodium shell. These nanostructures have been supported in Carbon Vulcan® for further electrochemical application. We intend to realize in situ Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS) studies for a systematical investigation of the reaction mechanism and catalytic properties of gold-rhodium nanostructures under light irradiation. Moreover, we intend to combine experimental and theoretical studies, performing computational simulations to achieve a deep understanding of the nanostructure plasmonic and catalytic properties. We expect to acquire more insights into EOR mechanism under light incidence as well.