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Murielle Delley publishes new insights about the charge transfer at electrode surfaces

13.12.2021 13:43

The Journal of the American Chemical Society has published a paper lead-authored by Branco Weiss Fellow Murielle Delley showing how applied potentials and electrolyte solution conditions affect charge transfers at electrode surfaces.

Electrochemical interfaces between a solid electrode and a liquid electrolyte are found in numerous technologies ranging from electrolyzers and fuel cells for clean energy conversions to batteries and sensors. Key governing factors of electrochemical interfaces, such as electric fields, are also important to the function of enzymes. Understanding how applied potentials and electrolyte solution conditions affect interfacial proton (i. e. charge) transfers at electrode surfaces is critical for electrochemical technologies.

The study simultaneously examines surface acid/base equilibria and interfacial electric fields as a function of applied potential by a spectro-electrochemical approach. This work provides fundamental insight into the effect of applied potentials and electrolyte solution conditions on the properties of electrochemical solid-solution interfaces with acidic and basic functionalities. It shows that the thermochemistry of interfacial proton transfers to and from the surface is determined by the experienced potential that is only a fraction of the applied potential, and by specific interactions of the surface with electrolyte components.

Dr. Murielle Delley is a research group leader at the Chemistry Department of the University of Basel since 2020. In March 2021 the university appointed her Assistant Professor. She researches the fundamentals of interfacial chemistry and mode of action of heterogeneous catalysts.

Read the news in Nature Chemistry

Read the paper in JACS