Héctor D. Abruña
Other affiliations: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Ithaca College, University of Texas at Austin ...read more
Bio: Héctor D. Abruña is an academic researcher from Cornell University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Electrochemistry & Cyclic voltammetry. The author has an hindex of 98, co-authored 585 publications receiving 38995 citations. Previous affiliations of Héctor D. Abruña include University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras & Ithaca College.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: This work quantifies the kinetics of charge storage in T-Nb2O5: currents that vary inversely with time, charge-storage capacity that is mostly independent of rate, and redox peaks that exhibit small voltage offsets even at high rates.
Abstract: Pseudocapacitance is commonly associated with surface or near-surface reversible redox reactions, as observed with RuO2·xH2O in an acidic electrolyte. However, we recently demonstrated that a pseudocapacitive mechanism occurs when lithium ions are inserted into mesoporous and nanocrystal films of orthorhombic Nb2O5 (T-Nb2O5; refs 1, 2). Here, we quantify the kinetics of charge storage in T-Nb2O5: currents that vary inversely with time, charge-storage capacity that is mostly independent of rate, and redox peaks that exhibit small voltage offsets even at high rates. We also define the structural characteristics necessary for this process, termed intercalation pseudocapacitance, which are a crystalline network that offers two-dimensional transport pathways and little structural change on intercalation. The principal benefit realized from intercalation pseudocapacitance is that high levels of charge storage are achieved within short periods of time because there are no limitations from solid-state diffusion. Thick electrodes (up to 40 μm thick) prepared with T-Nb2O5 offer the promise of exploiting intercalation pseudocapacitance to obtain high-rate charge-storage devices.
TL;DR: Two related molecules containing a Co ion bonded to polypyridyl ligands, attached to insulating tethers of different lengths are examined, enabling the fabrication of devices that exhibit either single-electron phenomena, such as Coulomb blockade or the Kondo effect.
Abstract: Using molecules as electronic components is a powerful new direction in the science and technology of nanometre-scale systems1. Experiments to date have examined a multitude of molecules conducting in parallel2,3, or, in some cases, transport through single molecules. The latter includes molecules probed in a two-terminal geometry using mechanically controlled break junctions4,5 or scanning probes6,7 as well as three-terminal single-molecule transistors made from carbon nanotubes8, C60 molecules9, and conjugated molecules diluted in a less-conducting molecular layer10. The ultimate limit would be a device where electrons hop on to, and off from, a single atom between two contacts. Here we describe transistors incorporating a transition-metal complex designed so that electron transport occurs through well-defined charge states of a single atom. We examine two related molecules containing a Co ion bonded to polypyridyl ligands, attached to insulating tethers of different lengths. Changing the length of the insulating tether alters the coupling of the ion to the electrodes, enabling the fabrication of devices that exhibit either single-electron phenomena, such as Coulomb blockade, or the Kondo effect.
TL;DR: A new class of Pt-Co nanocatalysts composed of ordered Pt(3)Co intermetallic cores with a 2-3 atomic-layer-thick platinum shell with high activity and stability are described, providing a new direction for catalyst performance optimization for next-generation fuel cells.
Abstract: To enhance and optimize nanocatalyst performance and durability for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel-cell applications, we look beyond Pt-metal disordered alloys and describe a new class of Pt-Co nanocatalysts composed of ordered Pt(3)Co intermetallic cores with a 2-3 atomic-layer-thick platinum shell. These nanocatalysts exhibited over 200% increase in mass activity and over 300% increase in specific activity when compared with the disordered Pt(3)Co alloy nanoparticles as well as Pt/C. So far, this mass activity for the oxygen reduction reaction is the highest among the Pt-Co systems reported in the literature under similar testing conditions. Stability tests showed a minimal loss of activity after 5,000 potential cycles and the ordered core-shell structure was maintained virtually intact, as established by atomic-scale elemental mapping. The high activity and stability are attributed to the Pt-rich shell and the stable intermetallic Pt(3)Co core arrangement. These ordered nanoparticles provide a new direction for catalyst performance optimization for next-generation fuel cells.
TL;DR: A β-ketoenamine-linked 2D COF is described that exhibits reversible electrochemical processes of its anthraquinone subunits, excellent chemical stability to a strongly acidic electrolyte, and one of the highest surface areas of the imine- or enamine- linked 2DCOFs.
Abstract: Two-dimensional covalent organic frameworks (2D COFs) are candidate materials for charge storage devices because of their micro- or mesoporosity, high surface area, and ability to predictably organize redox-active groups. The limited chemical and oxidative stability of established COF linkages, such as boroxines and boronate esters, precludes these applications, and no 2D COF has demonstrated reversible redox behavior. Here we describe a β-ketoenamine-linked 2D COF that exhibits reversible electrochemical processes of its anthraquinone subunits, excellent chemical stability to a strongly acidic electrolyte, and one of the highest surface areas of the imine- or enamine-linked 2D COFs. Electrodes modified with the redox-active COF show higher capacitance than those modified with a similar non-redox-active COF, even after 5000 charge–discharge cycles. These findings demonstrate the promise of using 2D COFs for capacitive storage.
28 Jul 2005
TL;DR: The energy that can be stored in Li-air and Li-S cells is compared with Li-ion; the operation of the cells is discussed, as are the significant hurdles that will have to be overcome if such batteries are to succeed.
Abstract: Li-ion batteries have transformed portable electronics and will play a key role in the electrification of transport. However, the highest energy storage possible for Li-ion batteries is insufficient for the long-term needs of society, for example, extended-range electric vehicles. To go beyond the horizon of Li-ion batteries is a formidable challenge; there are few options. Here we consider two: Li-air (O(2)) and Li-S. The energy that can be stored in Li-air (based on aqueous or non-aqueous electrolytes) and Li-S cells is compared with Li-ion; the operation of the cells is discussed, as are the significant hurdles that will have to be overcome if such batteries are to succeed. Fundamental scientific advances in understanding the reactions occurring in the cells as well as new materials are key to overcoming these obstacles. The potential benefits of Li-air and Li-S justify the continued research effort that will be needed.
TL;DR: A unified theoretical framework highlights the need for catalyst design strategies that selectively stabilize distinct reaction intermediates relative to each other, and opens up opportunities and approaches to develop higher-performance electrocatalysts for a wide range of reactions.
Abstract: BACKGROUND With a rising global population, increasing energy demands, and impending climate change, major concerns have been raised over the security of our energy future. Developing sustainable, fossil-free pathways to produce fuels and chemicals of global importance could play a major role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions while providing the feedstocks needed to make the products we use on a daily basis. One prospective goal is to develop electrochemical conversion processes that can convert molecules in the atmosphere (e.g., water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen) into higher-value products (e.g., hydrogen, hydrocarbons, oxygenates, and ammonia) by coupling to renewable energy. Electrocatalysts play a key role in these energy conversion technologies because they increase the rate, efficiency, and selectivity of the chemical transformations involved. Today’s electrocatalysts, however, are inadequate. The grand challenge is to develop advanced electrocatalysts with the enhanced performance needed to enable widespread penetration of clean energy technologies. ADVANCES Over the past decade, substantial progress has been made in understanding several key electrochemical transformations, particularly those that involve water, hydrogen, and oxygen. The combination of theoretical and experimental studies working in concert has proven to be a successful strategy in this respect, yielding a framework to understand catalytic trends that can ultimately provide rational guidance toward the development of improved catalysts. Catalyst design strategies that aim to increase the number of active sites and/or increase the intrinsic activity of each active site have been successfully developed. The field of hydrogen evolution, for example, has seen important breakthroughs over the years in the development of highly active non–precious metal catalysts in acid. Notable advancements have also been made in the design of oxygen reduction and evolution catalysts, although there remains substantial room for improvement. The combination of theory and experiment elucidates the remaining challenges in developing further improved catalysts, often involving scaling relations among reactive intermediates. This understanding serves as an initial platform to design strategies to circumvent technical obstacles, opening up opportunities and approaches to develop higher-performance electrocatalysts for a wide range of reactions. OUTLOOK A systematic framework of combining theory and experiment in electrocatalysis helps to uncover broader governing principles that can be used to understand a wide variety of electrochemical transformations. These principles can be applied to other emerging and promising clean energy reactions, including hydrogen peroxide production, carbon dioxide reduction, and nitrogen reduction, among others. Although current paradigms for catalyst development have been helpful to date, a number of challenges need to be successfully addressed in order to achieve major breakthroughs. One important frontier, for example, is the development of both experimental and computational methods that can rapidly elucidate reaction mechanisms on broad classes of materials and in a wide range of operating conditions (e.g., pH, solvent, electrolyte). Such efforts would build on current frameworks for understanding catalysis to provide the deeper insights needed to fine-tune catalyst properties in an optimal manner. The long-term goal is to continue improving the activity and selectivity of these catalysts in order to realize the prospects of using renewable energy to provide the fuels and chemicals that we need for a sustainable energy future.
TL;DR: The work presented here details the Avogadro library, which is a framework providing a code library and application programming interface (API) with three-dimensional visualization capabilities; and has direct applications to research and education in the fields of chemistry, physics, materials science, and biology.
Abstract: The Avogadro project has developed an advanced molecule editor and visualizer designed for cross-platform use in computational chemistry, molecular modeling, bioinformatics, materials science, and related areas. It offers flexible, high quality rendering, and a powerful plugin architecture. Typical uses include building molecular structures, formatting input files, and analyzing output of a wide variety of computational chemistry packages. By using the CML file format as its native document type, Avogadro seeks to enhance the semantic accessibility of chemical data types. The work presented here details the Avogadro library, which is a framework providing a code library and application programming interface (API) with three-dimensional visualization capabilities; and has direct applications to research and education in the fields of chemistry, physics, materials science, and biology. The Avogadro application provides a rich graphical interface using dynamically loaded plugins through the library itself. The application and library can each be extended by implementing a plugin module in C++ or Python to explore different visualization techniques, build/manipulate molecular structures, and interact with other programs. We describe some example extensions, one which uses a genetic algorithm to find stable crystal structures, and one which interfaces with the PackMol program to create packed, solvated structures for molecular dynamics simulations. The 1.0 release series of Avogadro is the main focus of the results discussed here. Avogadro offers a semantic chemical builder and platform for visualization and analysis. For users, it offers an easy-to-use builder, integrated support for downloading from common databases such as PubChem and the Protein Data Bank, extracting chemical data from a wide variety of formats, including computational chemistry output, and native, semantic support for the CML file format. For developers, it can be easily extended via a powerful plugin mechanism to support new features in organic chemistry, inorganic complexes, drug design, materials, biomolecules, and simulations. Avogadro is freely available under an open-source license from http://avogadro.openmolecules.net .