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 2010

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
2014 - 2016    Beam time at ESRF (3x)
2013    Akzo Nobel KHMW Young Talent Award

Other responsibilities since 2010

  • Reviewer for the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Journal of Catalysis, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, Journal of Chemical Physics and New Journal of Chemistry
  • Founding board member of the Leiden Honours Community Foundation


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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