Electronic Control of Catalysis


Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 9:00am


ESB 1001


Prof. C. Daniel Frisbie -- University of Minnesota

Abstract: Heterogeneous catalysis is well-known to be sensitive to electron accumulation or depletion on surfaces, but electron density is usually controlled by chemical doping (e.g., promoters) in the case of thermocatalysis, or electrochemical potential in the case of electrocatalysis. The recent advent of ultrathin two dimensional (2D) catalysts prepared either by exfoliation or thin film growth methods opens up new opportunities to exploit the transverse field effect—so central to silicon CMOS technology—to modulate the carrier density in the catalyst (or electrocatalyst). In this approach the 2D catalyst material is deposited on top of a metal/dielectric stack to make a capacitor (aka ‘condenser’); application of a voltage between the catalyst and the metal causes positive or negative charge to accumulate in the catalyst, depending on the sign of the voltage. This charge in turn tunes the reactivity of active sites in the catalytic layer, accelerating the rate of reaction on its top surface. This talk will describe some early results for two specific types of catalytic condensers, one in electrocatalysis and the other for a thermocatalytic reaction. In general, catalytic condensers provide a platform for fundamental investigation of electronic effects in electro- and thermocatalysis, as well as a strategy for dynamic control of reaction rates, which is currently of intense interest in the catalysis community.

Bio: C. Daniel Frisbie is Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Head of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) at the University of Minnesota. He obtained a PhD in physical chemistry at MIT in 1993 and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard. His research focuses on materials for thin film electronics, including organic semiconductors and their applications in devices such as transistors and electrochromic displays. Research topics include the synthesis of novel organic semiconductors, structure-property relationships, organic device physics, scanning probe microscopy, and the development of new manufacturing strategies for flexible printed electronics. Recently he has started a new research program in electrocatalysis. From 2002-2014, Frisbie led a multi-investigator effort in organic semiconductors at the University of Minnesota, sponsored by the Materials Research Science and
Engineering Center (MRSEC) program of the NSF. He was the lead investigator on a Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) grant funded by the Office of Naval Research from 2011-2017 for development of a roll-to-roll printed electronics manufacturing platform. He is currently part of a DOE-funded EFRC (2022-2026) in programmable catalysis. He has been Head of CEMS since 2014.

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