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ZB 23 - Modified electrodes for potential application in sensors and cells (M.Opallo)


Heteroatom-doped graphene as a platform for efficient electrocatalysis

Graphene, a single layer of graphite, has raised extensive interest, because of its extraordinary thermal, mechanical, electrical and other properties. Heteroatomic doping of graphene with N, B, O, S, P, etc. is an effective method to tailor its electronic properties. The modulation of electronic properties of heteroatom-doped graphene can be further extended not only by controlling amount of heteroatoms but also by selective formation of different types of bonding configuration. As electronic properties are of crucial importance for (electro)catalysis, this paves the way to the development of the new family of electrode materials with unique properties having potential application of energy production and storage devices such as fuel cells or supercapacitors.

The goal of the project is the design, manipulation, characterization, and applications of novel electrode materials based on heteroatom (mainly nitrogen)- doped graphene and understanding the role of heteroatom bonding in graphene decoration with nanomaterials and electrochemical properties. Therefore they will be further modified with other nanomaterials in order achieve synergistic effects of doped graphene and modifiers. These nanomaterials will include carbon, noble metals, and transition metal oxides/hydroxides nanoparticles. Apart of the characterization of these new materials, oxidation of difficult to oxidize biologically important compounds as glucose, ascorbate and various neurotransmitters and the reactions important from the view point of energy conversion/storage such as oxygen reduction, water decomposition, and as well as the double-layer/pseudo-capacitive behavior will be investigated. Finally, we will search for composite electrode materials with prospective application in sensing and energy conversion, exhibiting the lowest overpotential and/or highest current density of selected electrode processes.