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Van Marum Colloquium: Electrocatalysis at high entropy alloy surfaces

Tuesday 20 December 2022
Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden


Catalysis is key in the future development of green chemistry and in the renewable production of chemicals and fuels. However, this transition requires a new approach to catalysis, as central chemical reactions cannot be catalyzed with existing materials. The grand challenge is to discover new catalyst materials, which are both stable and active. We identify three energy conversion reactions, which are corner stones for the green transition and in urgent need of new catalysts.

High Entropy Alloys are solid solutions where five or more elements are mixed randomly together. The realization of HEAs has opened for a vast composition space with a practically infinite number of new not yet explored catalyst materials. We can tune their properties by smoothly change their composition. This has led to the statement that:  HEA is a shift of paradigm “from using the materials we have, to engineer the materials we need”.  The hypothesis is that among the HEAs there are catalysts with superior stability and activity for the important green reactions.
I will present the challenges regarding simulations and prediction of the relation between surface structure and catalytic activity on HEA surfaces. Further, I will show studies where the flexibility of the vast chemical space of HEAs is utilized to predict new catalysts.

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