Abstract: Activity, selectivity, and stability are the key performance descriptors for catalysts. In this presentation, we will describe insights for explaining an outstanding performance of bimetallic electrocatalysts by proposing novel models based on fundamental surface science concepts. We will also attempt to provide a more realistic picture of the catalyst’s surface and its active sites as a function of reaction conditions and the identity of reactants and that of key intermediates. We conclude that challenging well-established assumptions regarding model catalytic surfaces can offer significant benefits to our fundamental understanding of reaction mechanisms.
Biography: Manos Mavrikakis is the Ernest Micek Distinguished Chair, the James A. Dumesic Professor, and the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from NTUA in Greece, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering & Scientific Computing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Following postdocs at the University of Delaware and the Technical University of Denmark, he joined the faculty of Chemical Engineering at UW-Madison. His main research interests include the elucidation of detailed reaction mechanisms for thermal heterogeneously catalyzed and electrocatalyzed reactions and the identification of improved catalytic materials from first-principles-based microkinetic modeling. He has coauthored ~300 publications. Mavrikakis is an elected Fellow of APS (2013), AAAS (2014), and AVS (2016). He served as his Department Chair (2015-2018) and was a Visiting Miller Research Professor at UC Berkeley – Chemistry in 2019. He received the 2009 Paul H. Emmett award and the 2021 Burwell Lectureship from the North American Catalysis Society, the 2014 R. H. Wilhelm award from AIChE, and the 2019 Gabor A. Somorjai award from ACS. He served as editor-in-chief of Surface Science between 2012 and 2020.