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Directora Laboratorio Max Planck de Nanociencia Molecular en la École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

In situ scanning probe microscopy, energy conversion, electrocatalysis


Our society faces a critical challenge in shifting from a reliance on carbon-based energy to sustainablerenewable sources. A key step towards achieving clean energy lies in developing efficient catalysts thatcan convert chemical energy into electricity or use electrons to generate chemical energy. 

In our research group, we tackle these challenges by creating customized materials that draw inspiration
from nature (biomimicry) and combine principles from interfacial chemistry and surface physics. For this
presentation, I focus on the process of photosynthesis as inspiration for the design, characterization, and
dynamic nature of functional interfaces that drive energy conversion processes such as
CO 2  electroreduction and water splitting.
I will also discuss the application of cutting-edge scanning probe microscopy, which allows us to
visualize dynamic electrochemical processes at the nanoscale (operando imaging). Additionally, I will
highlight our use of unconventional strategies that leverage chiral molecules or magnetic fields acting
on abundant two-dimensional materials to enhance electrocatalytic conversion processes.
References :
Vensaus, P., Liang, Y., Ansermet, JP. et al. Enhancement of electrocatalysis through magnetic field effects on
mass transport. Nature Commun 15, 2867 (2024).
Liang, Y., Banjac, K., Martin, K. et al. Enhancement of electrocatalytic oxygen evolution by chiral molecular
functionalization of hybrid 2D electrodes. Nature Commun 13, 3356 (2022).

Y. Liang,  M. Lihter,  M. Lingenfelder, Spin-Control in Electrocatalysis for Clean Energy.  Isr. J. Chem. 
2022,  62, e202200052.
Hai Phan, T., Banjac, K., Cometto, F. et al.  Emergence of Potential-Controlled Cu-Nanocuboids and Graphene-
Covered Cu-Nanocuboids under Operando CO 2 Electroreduction.  Nanoletters 21 (2021) 2059-2065 .

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