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Bouvier Mathilde

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Groupe Electrochimie et Couches Minces

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T. +33 (0)1 69 33 47 93

Water splitting into H2 and O2 is one of the promising means to convert and store renewable energy but scalability requires earth abundant catalysts and iron group metals (Fe, Ni, Co) are very promising for water oxidation.

The PhD work aims at synthesizing and characterizing model catalysts for water oxidation into O2 to better understand the reaction mechanisms and improve catalysts performances. Model catalysts will consist of ultrathin alloy oxide films deposited on noble metal single crystals. The catalysts will be prepared by anodic electro-oxidation of alloy epitaxial thin films grown by co-electrodeposition or by direct oxide electrodeposition. The later method consists in promoting electrochemically controlled precipitation and crystallization of the oxide at high temperature. Past work have demonstrated that epitaxial layers may be obtained.

Model catalysts films with different alloy compositions and surface orientations will be realized. Electrochemical measurements will be coupled with morphological (SEM, AFM), structural (X–ray diffraction, X-ray absorption spectroscopy) and spectrsocopic (Raman) charactérizations. Most of these characterizations will be conducted in real conditions of catalyst functioning (operando) to establish the relationship between the surface structure and the catalyst performances.