Universiteit Leiden

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Marc Koper

Professor of Catalysis and surface chemistry

Prof.dr. M.T.M. Koper
+31 71 527 4250

Nature uses electrocatalysis to control the redox cycli of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen compounds. Marc Koper is a physical electrochemist who studies how to steer and catalyze such redox reactions for sustainable energy and chemistry combining experiment, theory and catalyst design principles.

More information about Marc Koper



Marc Koper (1967) studied chemistry at Utrecht University, and obtained his PhD (cum laude) with Prof. J.H. Sluyters from Utrecht University in 1994 on “Far-from-equilibrium phenomena in electrochemical systems: instabilities, oscillations and chaos”
From 1995 to 1997 he was a postdoctoral Marie Curie Fellow in the group of Prof. W. Schmickler at the University of Ulm (Germany). In 1997, he returned to the Netherlands to join the group of Prof. R.A. van Santen at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he initially was a Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and later associate professor. 
In 2005, he was appointed full professor in fundamental surface science at Leiden University.

His interests are in electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, (electrochemical) surface science, and theoretical and computational (electro-)chemistry.

Curriculum Vitae

Personal information

Nationality: Dutch
Date of birth: 5 May 1967


1994   PhD, Faculty of Chemistry, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, 23 November 1994 (cum laude)
Thesis title: ‘Far-from-equilibrium phenomena in electrochemical systems’
Advisor: Prof. Dr. J.H. Sluyters
1991   MSc in Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Current and previous research positions

2005 – now     Full Professor in Fundamental Surface Science, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2002 – 2005   Associate Professor, Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
1997 – 2002   Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Eindhoven University of Technology (Prof. R.A. van Santen)
1995 – 1997   Post-doctoral Researcher, Abteilung Elektrochemie, Universität Ulm, Germany, supported by NATO and EU fellowships (Prof. W. Schmickler)

Grants, awards, recognitions since 2010

2016   Brian Conway Prize for Physical Electrochemistry of the International Society of Electrochemistry
2016   EU FET-Proactive Grant “A-LEAF” (partner k€ 619)
2016   EU ITN Grant “ELCOREL” (partner k€ 511)
2016  NWO Solar-to-Products grants with W.Smith (Delft) (k€  885)
2016   NWO Solar-to-Products grants with and G.Mul (Twente) and P. de Jongh (UU) (k€ 722)
2015   STW Demonstrator Grant (k€ 149)
2015   STW grant with Tata Steel (k€ 285)
2015   NWO NCI-TA Grant with G. Mul (Twente) (k€ 1047)
2015   Visiting Professor, Department of Chemistry, Hokkaido University (Japan)
2015   Fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry
2014   Visiting Professor at Université de Paris Denis Diderot, April 2015
2014   FOM ‘CO2 neutral fuels’ program grant with D.G.H. Hetterscheid and E. Bouwman (k€ 464)
2014   Collaboration with Bayer-Covestra (100 k€)
2013   Carl Wagner Memorial Award of the Electrochemical Society
2012   Hellmut Fischer medal of DECHEMA (German Society for Chemical Engineering)
2011   FES TBSC (k€ 290)
2011   NRSC-C2 grant with G.J. Kroes (k€ 220)
2011   JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Long-term Fellowship Award
2011   NWO-CW TOP grant with L.B.J. Juurlink (k€ 780)
2011   NRSC-C2 grant with G.J. Kroes (k€ 220)
2010   FES-HTSM NanoNextNL (k€ 302)
2010   Visiting Professor at Catalysis Research Center, Hokkaido University (Japan)

Contribution to teaching and supervision

  • Two undergraduate courses for BSc Molecular Science and Technology (Leiden/Delft): Physical Chemistry and Kinetics, and Catalysis
  • Two courses for MSc Chemistry at Leiden University: Electrochemistry, and Catalytic Surface Science

Supervision of 22 PhD students and 20 postdoctoral fellows (two Veni fellows, three Marie Curie fellows) since 1998. Current employment of recent PhD students and postdocs: O. Diaz-Morales, University of Stockholm; I. Ledezma-Yanez, TU Delft; R. Kortlever, CalTech; M.J. Kolb, MIT; Y .Kwon, University of California at Berkeley, now Korean Research Institute of Chemical Technology. S.C.S. Lai, Warwick University, now tenure track at U.Twente; M. Duca, Université de Paris Denis Diderot, Marie Curie Fellowship at Oxford University; P. Rodriguez, University of Birmingham; K.J.P. Schouten, Avantium Chemicals; M.T. de Groot, Akzo Nobel; A.C.A. de Vooys, Tata Steel Europe; J. Yang, University of Iceland; H.Li, TU Munich; T.H.M. Housmans, Sabic; N.P. Lebedeva Joint Research Center, Institute for Energy and Transport (NL); V. Rosca, Energy Research Center of the Netherlands.

Other responsibilities since 2010

  • Editorial board member for the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry (since 1999), Advances in Physical Chemistry (2008-2014), Electrochimica Acta (2011-2013), Catalysis Today (since 2009), ChemCatChem (since 2013), ChemElectroChem (since 2013), ACS Catalysis (since 2014), Current Opinion in Electrochemistry (since 2016)
  • Associate Editor of Catalysis Today (since 2013) and Journal of Catalysis (since 2016)
  • Scientific Advisory Board member of the Joint Centre for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) of the California Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley
  • Research Advisory Board member of Institute of Global Prominent Research of Chiba University (Japan)
  • Elected Vice-President of the International Society of Electrochemistry 2011-2014
  • Board member of the Netherlands Institute for Research in Catalysis (NIOK) since 2006
  • Board member of the Holland Research School for Molecular Chemistry (HRSMC) since 2006
  • Chair of the Organisation Committee of the Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry in The Hague, 21-26 August 2016, 1640 participants
  • Chair and co-chair of 2nd and 3rd Zing Electrochemistry Conference, Lanzarote 2013 and 2014 (with P.N.Bartlett and A.R.Hillman, resp.)
  • Chair of the 11th Spring Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry on “Theoretical and Computational Electrochemistry”, 23-25 May, Washington, USA
  • Chairman of the exam committee of the BSc curriculum Molecular Science and Technology (Leiden/Delft)
  • Member of review panel for the European Research Council (Advanced Grant), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Flemish Organisation for Scientific Research (FWO), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Austrian Science Fund (FWF), US Department of Energy (DoE), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • External member to PhD committees in Belgium, France, Spain, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Canada
  • Reviewer for Nature, Science, Nature Chemistry, Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, Angewandte Chemie, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Physical Review Letters, Chemical Science and various catalysis, electrochemistry and physical chemistry journals

Publication record including five recent representative publications

Ca. 300 papers with >10500 citations, H-index 58 (Web of Science)

Full publication record: ResearcherID, or Leiden University

  • Diaz-Morales O., Raaijman S., Kortlever R., Kooyman P.J., Wezendonk T., Gascon J., Fu W.T., Koper M.T.M., Iridium-based double perovskites for efficient water oxidation in acid media. Nature Communications. 2016, 7, 12363.
  • Huang Y.-F., Kooyman P.J., Koper M.T.M., Intermediate stages of electrochemical oxidation of single-crystalline platinum as revealed by in situ Raman spectroscopy. Nature Communications. 2016, 7, 12440.
  • Shen J., Kortlever R., Kas R., Birdja Y., Diaz-Morales O., Kwon Y., Ledezma-Yanez I.D., Schouten K.J.P., Mul G., Koper M.T.M., Electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and methane at an immobilized cobalt protoporphyrin in aqueous solution. Nature Communications. 2015, 6, 8177.
  • Calle-Vallejo F., Koper M.T.M., Theoretical considerations on the electroreduction of CO to C2 species on Cu(100) electrodes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 2013, 52, 7282-7285.
  • Rodriguez P., Kwon Y., Koper M.T.M., The promoting effect of adsorbed carbon monoxide on the oxidation of alcohols on a gold catalyst. Nature Chemistry. 2012, 4, 177-182.

Presentations including five presentations at international conferences since 2010

>100 invited presentations at universities, companies and institutes, and invited, keynote and plenary lectures at international conferences since 2010

  • Proton-coupled electron transfer for electrochemical CO2 reduction, Gordon Conference on Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels, 29 February – 3 March 2016, Lucca (Italy), invited lecture
  • Electrocatalysis for solar fuels: a tale of electrons, protons, and volcanoes, Conference on Catalysis for Artificial Photosynthesis, 1-3 February 2016, KAUST (Saudi Arabia), keynote lecture
  • Multiple proton-electron transfer reactions in electrocatalysis, Frontiers in Chemistry Lecture Series, 13-15 October 2015, Hokkaido University (Japan)
  • Solvation of platinum surfaces, Bunsentagung 14-16 May 2015, Bochum (Germany), plenary lecture
  • Bond breaking and making between carbon, nitrogen and oxygen in electrocatalysis, 3rd International Conference on Electrocatalysis, 26-29 October 2014, Whistler (Canada), keynote lecture.

Professor of Catalysis and surface chemistry

  • Science
  • Leiden Institute of Chemistry
  • LIC/Energy & Sustainability

Work address

Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
Room number DE019



  • International Society of Electrochemistry Past President
  • Elsevier Editor Journal of Catalysis
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek in de Katalyse NIOK Board member
  • Holland Research School of Molecular Chemistry Board member
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