Structure-function relationships of CO2 reduction electrocatalysts at work
The electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 into hydrocarbon fuels, like methane or ethylene, is regarded as a promising strategy to address one of the main current environmental issues: reducing the CO2 footprint of our society. However, improvements in activity, selectivity and stability of the developed electrocatalysts are crucial in order to implement electrocatalysis on a large scale. Colloidal synthesis of metal nanoparticles offers a versatile strategy to boost the activity (large surface area) and selectivity (selective facet exposure) of the CO2 reduction reaction, but is limited by nanoparticle destabilization under reaction conditions. Therefore, detailed characterization over multiple length- and timescales is required to elucidate the reaction mechanism of CO2 reduction electrocatalysts at work
Our research focuses on (1) the synthesis of colloidal metal electrocatalyst nanoparticles with well-defined sizes, shapes and compositions (e.g. nanorods or nanoplatelets), (2) in situ vibrational spectroscopy to study the adsorbed intermediates at the catalyst surface in space and time, and (3) in situ X-ray characterization (diffraction, spectroscopy, scattering) to elucidate the structure of the electrocatalyst under working conditions (Figure 1). Our main interest lies in unravelling structure-function relationships by performing in situ X-ray diffraction and scattering experiments, as well as in situspectroscopy measurements. Colloidal nanomaterials are ideally suited for structure-function relationships, since they can be prepared with atomic precision in solution. This not only allows us to deposit them on various electrodes, but also characterize the size, shape and faceting during the reaction and use these parameters to direct the formation of value-added chemicals, such as C>2 hydrocarbons. These in situ characterization techniques will give valuable fundamental, but also practical insights into the exact reaction mechanism of the CO2 reduction reaction and the (de)activation of the electrocatalyst nanoparticles, which will allow us to rationally design the ultimate electrocatalyst.
Figure 1. (left) Colloidal nanostructures ooffer a versatile strategy to steer the CO2 reduction reaction. (middle) in situ vibrational spectroscopy (Raman and Infrared) sheds light on adsorbed reaction intermediates at the catalyst surface. (right) in situ X-ray characterization is utilized to unravel the structure (size, shape, faceting, composition) of the colloidal electrocatalysts under working conditions and elucidate (de)stabilization parameters. The obtained information from these three pillars will be used to design the ultimate active, selective and stable nanoparticle electrocatalyst
Tenure Track Assistant Professor (June 2019 – Present), Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Postdoctoral Researcher (March 2019 – June 2019), Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Research topics: Electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 with colloidal metal nanoparticles, under the supervision of prof. dr. ir. Bert M. Weckhuysen
Postdoctoral Researcher (October 2016 – February 2019), Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Research topics: Electrochemical doping of semiconductor nanocrystals, (spectro)electrochemistry, ultrafast
spectroscopy, in-situ EXAFS, synthesis of colloidal perovskite nanoplatelets, streak camera measurements, charge transfer and excited state dynamics, transient absorption spectroscopy, under the supervision of dr. Arjan Houtepen and dr. Ferdinand Grozema
PhD student (October 2012 – September 2016), Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Thesis entitled: Tailoring on the nanoscale: control over size, shape, composition and self-assembly of copper chalcogenide nanocrystals
Research topics: Nanocrystal synthesis, cation exchange, self-assembled superstructures, optical spectroscopy, in-situ X-ray scattering, Electron Microscopy, under the supervision of dr. Celso de Mello Donegá and prof. dr. Andries Meijerink
MSc Chemistry & Physics (September 2010 – October 2012), Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Thesis entitled: Colloidal Nanostructures for Application in Quantum Dot Sensitized Solar Cells, under the supervision of dr. Celso de Mello Donegá
MSc Internship(March 2012 – September 2012), Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy
Internship report entitled: Control over different colloidal nanocrystal syntheses; size, shape and properties, under the supervision of prof. dr. Liberato Manna
BSc Chemistry (September 2007 – September 2010), Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Thesis entitled: Quantum Dot Sensitized Solar Cells, under the supervision of dr. Esther Groeneveld and dr. Celso de Mello Donegá
Born in Nieuwegein, The Netherlands 1989
Ina Vollmer and Ward van der Stam (both ICC) have received an NWO XS grant of 50.000 euro for curiosity-driven research into new ways to recycle plastic and CO2. Ina […]Read more
During the online NanoGe Fall Meeting Ward van der Stam presented the combined work of PhD student Jim de Ruiter and postdoctoral fellow Hongyu An in the lecture entitled ‘Probing the dynamics of CO2 electroreduction with time-resolved Raman […]Read more
In March 2019, Ward initially started as a postdoc in the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis (ICC) group, but recently, his position was changed into Tenure Track Assistant Professor. He will […]Read more
In: Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, vol. 60, no. 30, pp. 16576-16584, 2021, (cited By 12).
In: Nanoscale, vol. 13, no. 9, pp. 4835-4844, 2021, (cited By 5).
See earlier publications on Scopus.