CBE & MSE Seminar: Optimizing Electrocatalytic Materials through Multiscale Multitechnique Characterization

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Svitlana Pylypenko

Chemistry Department & Materials Science Program
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado

Abstract: Design of alternative catalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is an ongoing field of research, and various routes of improving Pt-based catalysts including highly faceted surfaces, alloying Pt with non-noble transition metals, and creating core-shell structures have been explored. However, achieving simultaneously high specific activity, mass activity, surface area and durability remains a challenge. This work will discuss progress toward development of nanowire-based extended surface catalysts. Challenges associated with catalyst characterization will be discussed, focusing on the evolution of surface and bulk properties during synthesis, electrode preparation and fuel cell operation, and highlighting the necessity for multitechnique characterization at multiple-length scales.

Bio: Svitlana Pylypenko is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the Colorado School of Mines. She is also involved in the interdisciplinary materials science program at the school and holds a joint appointment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Prior to joining the chemistry department, Pylypenko was an assistant research faculty in the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Pylypenko received her bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from the National Technical University of Ukraine and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of New Mexico. Pylypenko's group at Mines investigates surfaces and interfaces of applied materials with the emphasis on building relationships between surface composition and structure, materials properties and their performance with the eventual goal to design the next generation of materials based on earth abundant elements, which provide high efficiency at the fraction of the cost. Research focuses on multitechnique, multiscale analysis and in-situ and in-operando studies bridging surface analysis, surface science and catalysis. Pylypenko is a board member of the ECS Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry Division, AVS Applied Surface Science Division and Rocky Mountain Chapter of AVS. She serves as chair of the AVS Educational Materials and Outreach Committee, is involved in the AVS Science Educators Workshop and a faculty adviser of the Colorado School of Mines AVS student chapter. 

Host: Iryna Zenyuk