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Miami University

Dr. Shouzhong Zou

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: 513-529-8084
Fax: 513-529-5715
E-mail

 

Dr. Hailiang Dong

Dr. Khalid Eid

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Dr. Shouzhong Zou

Dr. Shouzhong Zou

"We are interested in exploring factors governing the performance of fuel cell catalysts. Uniform arrays of metal nanoparticles are used as model catalysts to study particle structural effects on methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction. To understand the adsorption and reactions on catalyst surfaces, we use surface infrared spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)."

 

Description of Research

The objective for our fuel cell research is to reveal factors governing the electrocatalytic activities of the electrocatalysts by using nanoparticle arrays and surface vibrational spectroscopies. Uniform arrays of Pt and Pt-based alloy nanoparticles are used as model catalysts to study particle structural effects on methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction, which are of importance to methanol fuel cell. These particle arrays are well separated, free of surface molecular protecting layer, and uniform in size, therefore are excellent model systems (see Figure for an example). To understand the adsorption and reactions on catalyst surfaces, we use surface infrared spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). SERS in particular provides unprecedented information regarding the catalyst oxidation state and the molecule-catalyst bonding. The fundamental understandings gained from this study will guide the search of new catalyst materials.

In the molecular electronics research, in collaboration with Professors Zhou (Chemistry and Biochemistry) and Yarrison-Rice (Physics), we are using novel inorganic complexes containing two metal centers as molecular diodes and transistors. The unique molecular electronic properties come from the difference in the electron affinity of the metal centers and the possibility of forming multiple metal-metal bonds between the two metal atoms. The conductivity measurements are conducted using electrode pairs with a nanometer scale gap, where the molecular being tested will be located. This project may yield a new set of molecules for electronic devices and will provide fundamental knowledge about the underlying mechanisms dictating electron transport properties of molecules.

Undergraduate researcher's roles in your lab

Undergraduate researchers in our lab will be involved directly in the research projects that are part of our efforts described above. The projects are tailored towards the undergraduate students so that it is challenging enough yet not too overwhelming. There are several publications involving undergraduate coauthors.

Graduate student's role in your lab

Graduate students will be engaged in the research activities described above. In general, students will gain hands-on experience on electron microscopies, scanning probe microscopies, nanomaterial fabrication and catalytic activity measurements of fuel cell catalysts.

Presentations

 

Funding

 GM “Fuel Cell Research” $106,000.

 

Publications

H. Yang, Y. Yang and S. Zou, "Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopic evidence of methanol oxidation on Ru electrodes", J. Phys. Chem. B, 2006, 110, 17296.

S. Kumar, S. Zou, "Electroreduction of O2 on uniform arrays of Pt and PtCo nanoparticles", Electrochem. Commu., 2006, 8, 1151.

S. Gruenbaum, M. Henney, S. Kumar, S. Zou, "Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy studies of 1,4-phenylene diisocyanide adsorption on Au and Pt-group transition metals", J. Phys. Chem. B, 2006, 110, 4782.

A. Jaiswal, K. Tavakoli, S. Zou, "Coupled surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and electrical conductivity study of 1, 4-phenylene diisocyanide in molecular electronic junctions", Anal. Chem., 2006, 78, 120.

S. Kumar and S. Zou, "Electrooxidation of Carbon Monoxide on Gold Nanoparticle Ensemble Electrodes - Effects of Particle Coverage", J. Phys. Chem. B, 2005, 109, 15707.

Nano is HUGE at Miami University

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