Universiteit Leiden

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Rik Mom

Assistant professor

Dr. R.V. Mom
+31 71 527 4221

Rik Mom uses spectroscopic tools to study the electrode-electrolyte interface during electrochemical reactions. In this way, he wants to learn which features in the atomic structure of the interface determine the catalytic performance in key processes for sustainable energy technology.

More information about Rik Mom

Rik Mom studied chemistry at Leiden University, where he became interested in the chemical reactions that take place at the surface of catalysts. Following this interest, he did his PhD in the group of Prof. Joost Frenken and Dr. Irene Groot, at the Leiden Institute of Physics, where he studied the structure of MoS2 particles during the catalytic removal of sulfur from organic molecules. Such operando studies require highly specialized equipment (a high-pressure scanning tunneling microscope in this case), which is home-built. This combination of instrument design and catalysis studies is what defined Rik’s further career, which he continued at the Fritz Haber Institute/BESSY synchrotron in Berlin. Here, he investigated the electrochemical conversion of water to oxygen on metal oxide electrodes using operando X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy, again developing and using purpose-built instrumentation. In his current position at Leiden University, he continues this tradition, with the current research focus on fuel cell and electrolyzer electrocatalysis.

Curriculum Vitae

Personal information

Nationality: Dutch
Date of Birth: 28-11-1988


2013 - 2017    PhD, Leiden Institute of Physics, Leiden University, The Netherlands (cum laude)
Thesis title:     “Imaging complex model catalysts in action
Advisors:     Prof. Joost W.M. Frenken, Dr. Irene Groot
2010 - 2013    MSc in Chemistry, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands (cum laude) 

Current and previous research positions

2020 - present    Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2018 - 2020    Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany (Prof. Robert Schlögl)
2017 - 2018    Postdoctoral researcher, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany (Prof. Robert Schlögl)

Grants, awards, recognitions since 2016

2023    Beam time at SOLEIL, SLS, Diamond, MAX IV and NSRRC
2021    NWO ECCM MVI Top-up grant with E. Cuppen and L. Hessels from the Rathenau Institute (400 k€)
2020    ECCM Tenure Track grant (k€ 950)
2019    Beam time at NSRRC (Taiwan)
2018    Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (k€ 70)
2016    SFV Michel Cantarel Grant

Contribution to teaching and supervision

  • MSc Chemistry course: Spectroscopy on Chemical Reactions and Environments
  • BSc MST course: Physical Chemistry and Kinetics
  • BSc Minor course: Green Chemistry
  • Lecturer in HRSMC PhD course Physical Methods in Inorganic Chemistry
  • Lecturer in ECCM graduate school
  • Lecturer in Pre-University College chemistry lecture series

(Co-)supervision of 4 PhD students and 1 postdoctoral fellow since 2016.

Other responsibilities since 2016

  • Reviewer for amongst others Nature Catalysis, Nature Communications, ACS Catalysis, and Angewandte Chemie
  • Chair of In situ and operando techniques symposium at the 73rd annual meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry
  • Scientific advisory board member of Operando Photoemission at MESA+

Publication record including five recent representative publications

30 papers with >1300 citations, H-index 16 (Google Scholar, 2023)

Full publication record: Leiden University

  • H Trzesniowski, N Deka, O van der Heijden, R Golnak, J Xiao, MTM Koper, R Seidel, RV Mom, Reversible and Irreversible Cation Intercalation in NiFeOx Oxygen Evolution Catalysts in Alkaline Media J. Phys. Chem. Lett. C (2023), 14 (2), 545-551. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.2c03336
  • N Deka, TE Jones, LJ Falling, LE Sandoval-Diaz, T Lunkenbein, J.J. Velasco-Velez, T.S. Chan, C.H. Chuang, A. Knop-Gericke, RV Mom, On the Operando Structure of Ruthenium Oxides during the Oxygen Evolution Reaction in Acidic Media, ACS catalysis (2023), 13, 7488-7498. DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.3c01607
  • H Javed, A Knop-Gericke, RV Mom Structural Model for Transient Pt Oxidation during Fuel Cell Start-up Using Electrochemical X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2022), 14 (31), 36238-36245. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c09249
  • RV Mom, LJ Falling, O Kasian, G Algara-Siller, D Teschner, RH Crabtree, A Knop-Gericke, KJJ Mayrhofer, J-J Velasco-Vélez, TE Jones, Operando Structure–Activity–Stability Relationship of Iridium Oxides during the Oxygen Evolution Reaction, ACS Catalysis (2022), 12 (9), 5174-5184. DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.1c05951
  • JJ Velasco-Vélez, LJ Falling, D Bernsmeier, MJ Sear, PCJ Clark, TS Chan, E Stotz, M Hävecker, R Kraehnert, A Knop-Gericke, CH Chuang, DE Starr, M Favaro, RV Mom, A comparative study of electrochemical cells for in situ x-ray spectroscopies in the soft and tender x-ray range, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics (2021), 54 (12), 124003. DOI: 10.1088/1361-6463/abd2ed


Assistant professor

  • Science
  • Leiden Institute of Chemistry
  • LIC/Energy & Sustainability
  • LIC/ES/Catalysis and Surface Chemistry

Work address

Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
Room number DE0.01



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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