Salzberg Chemistry Seminar: Steven Bernasek, Princeton University
Mon, Mar 11
12:00 PM — 1:00 PM
Marshak160 Convent Avenue
Steven L. Bernasek, Princeton University: "Interfacial Chemistry for Energy and the Environment"Abstract
Chemical reactions at surfaces and interfaces are ubiquitous in devices and processes that impact the production, storage and distribution of energy. One only needs to consider catalysis, batteries, and fuel cells as clear examples. Interfacial and surface chemistry is also crucial to questions of environmental concern, including sustainable energy production and utilization, as well as approaches to environmental remediation. We will discuss two examples of recent work from our laboratory that focus on aspects of surface chemistry relevant to these concerns. The first addresses the conversion of CO2 to higher value organics and fuels using electrochemical reduction at indium surfaces. We have examined the mechanism of CO2 reduction at the indium electrode, and the dependence of the surface reaction mechanism and kinetics on the state of the indium surface. The second example focuses on recently initiated studies of the surface chemistry of liquid lithium, a promising first wall material for fusion reactor applications. Little is known about the detailed surface chemistry of liquid lithium, its interactions with hydrogen, or the mechanisms of its interaction with typical constituents of fusion reactor vacuum systems. Information and understanding from these studies should assist in the rational design of fusion first wall systems.