May 30, 2024

ESR 14

Structure-activity relationships in supported size-selected clusters under CO2 electro-reduction conditions

Dr. JHS (PSI) / Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Schmidt (PSI/ETH Zurich)

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  • To electrochemically test Pt-Pd and Pd-Bi bimetallic cluster systems with different nanoparticle structures, compositions and sizes;
  • To develop a novel electrochemical cell for in situ XAFS measurements of these and other materials in CATCHY;
  • To determine the structural and electronic properties of the deposited clusters of interest using in situ XAFS under CO2 electro-reduction conditions;
  • To correlate these results with those derived from the modelling of equivalent catalytic systems.

Expected Results

  • Design principles (i.e., structure, composition, particle size) for the preparation of bimetallic Pt-Pd and Pd-Bi catalysts for CO2-to-C1 electro-reduction, accompanied by greatly-needed spectroscopic/modelling insight regarding the effect of the d-band structure on the activity and selectivity of such catalysts.
  • Improved understanding of the reaction mechanisms and reactivity descriptors leading to each product.
  • Potential implementation of the most interesting catalytic system(s) in device-relevant GDEs.


  • Catchy Outreaching Events

Planned Secondments

  • VITO: training in industrial electrode design;
  • KUL: to fabricate cluster-decorated electrodes
  • DTU: to exchange know-how on electrocatalyst characterization.